DUBAI, Feb 5 — Todd Clements described his maiden experience of his playing in the Omega Dubai Desert Classic as “exceptional” as he looks to build on the momentum when the MENA Tour gets under way later this year.
“I couldn’t have asked for a better place or event for my first European Tour start. Everything about this professional-run tournament was just great. For me, personally, it was an incredible week I will not forget in a hurry,” said the Englishman after winning the leading amateur medal on two-under for the tournament.
“There were plenty of positives to take away from the event — and a lot of things to be learned. The whole experience has given me the self-belief that I am not too far off when it comes to competing against the best in the business,” said the 22-year-old prodigy from Braintree in Essex, who won the 2017 English Amateur Championship at The Berkshire, beating Jack Gaunt 2/1 in the 36-hole final.
“The consistency level of top golfers is pretty exceptional and that is something I need to work harder going forward,” said Clements, who finished in a tie for 68th after opening with a three-under 69.
His ultimate goal is to turn professional in the near future, but first on his radar is winning a MENA Tour event. “My performance at the Omega Dubai Desert Classic shows that I can compete at the highest level, but I still haven’t won a MENA Tour event.
“The standard of golf in pretty high on the (MENA) tour and I would like to win at least once as soon as I can. Hopefully, this is the season for that elusive win,” said Clements, a two-time runner-up on the tour.
Clements won the invite to compete in the Omega Dubai Desert Classic after sealing the MENA Tour Amateur Order of Merit title in 2017 miles ahead of the competition. He was joined by the top three professionals — Jamie Elson, Henric Sturehed and Luke Joy — and the leading Arab star Ahmed Marjan along with top-ranked Indian amateur Rayhan Thomas in the starting line-up on the longest-running European Tour event in the region.
With rounds 69 and 70 Clements made the cut made at five-under, the lowest in the history of the event by two shots. A total 12 birdies, eight bogeys and one double-bogey highlighted his performance during the week and catapulted him to number 27 in World Amateur Golf Rankings.
“A couple of years ago I was just someone who turned up to enjoy a tournament, now I feel I can turn up and try to win,” said Clements, his positive mindset showing he is on the right track to achieving bigger goals in life.