Rock claims Abu Dhabi title

Unheralded Briton beats Tiger Woods in head-to-head contest to become surprise winner of Abu Dhabi Championships.

    Rock held his nerve to hold off Tiger Woods who was hoping to end a two-year winless drought [GETTY]

    Britain's Robert Rock won his head-to-head duel with a ragged Tiger Woods to lift the Abu Dhabi Championship title on Sunday after the former world number one produced his worst performance of the week.

    The two players started the day in a tie for the lead and it was the little-known Rock who held his nerve on the final day to collect his second European Tour victory with a closing 70 for 275, 13 under.

    Woods's excellent play over the first three days at the demanding Abu Dhabi Golf Club indicated the 14-times major champion was back to his best but his game unravelled on Sunday as he faded to a 72 for 277.

    World number three Rory McIlroy (69) finished second on 276 while Woods had to settle for a share of third spot with former U.S. Open champion Graeme McDowell (68), who had a hole-in-one at the 12th, and Dane Thomas Bjorn (68).

    Emotional

    Rock, 34, who started the week 117th in the rankings, was almost overcome with emotion after landing the Falcon Trophy and the first prize of $455,700.

    "I really can't believe I did that today," said the bearded Englishman.

    "It is such an amazing feeling.

    "I was just happy to be playing alongside Tiger today, that was a special honour in itself. Early on I played really well and I surprised myself.

    "I hit some good shots and I began to tell myself, 'Why not (go and win it)?'. I've worked very hard at my game over the last few years but I didn't think this would ever happen," added Rock.

    SOURCE: Reuters


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