(MENAFN - Muscat Daily) Portugal's professional golfer Jose Felipe Lima and Muscatbased amateurs David Townsend, Sekhar Pandit and Robert Daniel claimed the Pro-Am title of the inaugural US300,000 National Bank of Oman (NBO) Golf Classic at Almouj Golf, The Wave, Muscat, on Wednesday.
The Pro-Am event also set the ball rolling for the first ever European Challenge Tour in the GCC with the Minister of Sports Affairs, H E Sheikh Saad al Saadi, teeing off to mark a ceremonial start to the four-day tournament on Wednesday morning.
On Thursday, the penultimate event of the 2013 Challenge Tour will begin with a field of 114 golfers, including two Omani amateurs Azaan al Rumhy and Ali Hameed, in the fray.
In the Pro-Am event, nearly 100 Oman-based golfers got an opportunity to play along with 40 top pros in a friendly but competitive atmosphere.
For the pros, it served as a good practice session ahead of the main challenge that will decide the top 45 golfers who would qualify for the Grand Final to be hosted by the Al Badia Golf Club in Dubai next week.
The top 15 players in the Grand Final will get a ticket to the top flight European Tour for 2014.
The winning Pro-Am team scored 23-under par, while the runner-up side of Welshman Stuart Manley, Bikram Singh Rishi, Sanjeev Nagpal and Nikhil Sampat carded 21-under.
A shot behind was the team of Italy's Andrea Pavan, who leads the overall Challenge Tour rankings ahead of the last two events.
He played along with national team player Mohammed 'Eddy' al Mawali, Humayun Kabir and Barney Coleman. Mohammed al Ardhi, NBO's Deputy Chairman, said he was pleased with the success of the Pro-Am event and that he looked forward to a quality competition over the next few days.
Entry for the event is free of charge and the first group of golfers will tee off on Thursday at 6.30am.