Dereham-based Andrew Marshall’s Mena Tour hot streak continues in Morocco
- Credit: Archant
Andrew Marshall is smiling after claiming another impressive win, writes Chris Wise.
Marshall, from Dereham, maintained his superb start to the Mena Tour campaign by claiming a two-shot victory in the second event in Morocco, having finished joint runner-up in the opener.
Much closer to home his fellow Norfolk professional Luke Johnson, from King's Lynn, then turned on the style in the Europro Tour School qualifying event at Burhill in Surrey, with a brilliant second round of 65 leaving him four shots clear of his nearest challengers.
Marshall is nearly £10,500 the richer after an excellent two weeks in north Africa, which started at the Mohamedia Open when rounds of 68, 69 and 70 left him on nine-under-par with just eventual winner Zane Scotland ahead of him on 11 under.
He then moved on to the El Jadida Club and once again found himself challenging at the top of the leaderboard.
Going into the final round he was just two shots off the lead after following up a 70 with a 69 – and then a level par 72 proved enough to claim a two shot win from overnight leader Florian Praegant, with the Austrian finishing with a four-over 76.
Marshall's latest success follows a couple of other notable triumphs so far this year.
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Late last month he won the Bahrain Open for a record-equalling sixth time.
He took the title by four shots after finishing six-under-par over two rounds at Awali.
Marshall was overnight leader after posting a 68 which left him one ahead of David Park and Sultan Al Hakam.
After 27 holes, the championship was still anyone's, with Marshall just one clear.
But he then reeled off three consecutive birdies on the 12th, 13th and 14th holes.
With no mishaps on the final holes, hel finished with a superb 66 to take the title from Bahrain's Al Hakam (69, 69) and Scotland's Park (69, 70).
That triumph come hot on the heels of Marshall's glory in the US Professional Hickory Championship in America.
He powered his way to glory at that event – which sees competitors use old-style clubs rather than their regular ones.
The Bawburgh professional intends to play regularly on the British-based Europro Tour later this year, and he could find himself competing against Johnson following the Lynn youngster's excellent showing at Burhill.
After a solid opening 72 in the two round qualifying competition, Johnson really went to town with a best of the day 65 featuring five birdies, an eagle and no dropped shots steering him to a comfortable win.
With a £300 prize under his belt Johnson should now be in excellent heart for the Tour School final, which started at Frilford Heath in Oxfordshire yesterday and runs until tomorrow, with players battling for their cards over three rounds.
Two Norfolk professionals fared well enough last season to bypass the qualifier and start their campaigns at this stage, namely Kit Holmes from Hunstanton and Ben Rawsthorne from Bawburgh.
Rawsthorne, who went on to reach the second stage of European Tour School, finished 113th in the 2015 Order of Merit while Holmes ended up 126th.