Jack McDonald wins Yas Links Open in Abu Dhabi

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AYRSHIREMAN Jack McDonald capitalised on some unseasonably Scottish weather in Abu Dhabi to win the Yas Links Open.

A final-round 71 in windy and rainy conditions at the desert links course designed by Scot Kyle Phillips was enough for McDonald to edge out his University of Stirling team-mate, Mathias Eggenberger.

Swiss senior international Eggenberger was in pole position on the final day after a scintillating first round 64, but McDonald, the 2012 Scottish Golfer of the Year, emerged victorious by two shots with a six-under total of 138.

It was a proud moment for the Applied Mathematics student, having lost out in a play-off to Stirling graduate David Booth at the same event last year.

McDonald, from Kilmarnock, said: “It’s a nice way to start the season and especially to go one better than in 2012. I played some decent stuff at a high quality championship venue and coped well with the conditions, which were somewhat unexpected.”

He is one of 13 Stirling scholarship golfers at a two-week training camp in the Middle East, led by former European Tour professional Dean Robertson, the university’s men’s high performance golf coach, and supported by golf psychologist, Dr John Mathers.

Post-event, the players attended the final day of the Omega Dubai Desert Classic where they watched fellow Scot Stephen Gallacher collect his second European Tour title.

Robertson said: “The trip has been amazing so far – arguably the best ever. It is an excellent opportunity for our scholars to put in quality practice and prepare for the season proper whilst also competing at a high level.

“Jack’s victory was impressive and for our players to see Stephen [Gallagher] winning a European Tour event will inspire them to work hard with the goal to follow in his footsteps.”

Yesterday, Stirling competed in a challenge match against a United Arab Emirates professional select before the Al Ain Championship this weekend.

McDonald also receives support from national student sports scholarships Winning Students.