Larrazabal wins Abu Dhabi Championship

Spaniard Pablo Larrazabal claimed his 3rd European Tour victory after a one-shot win in the $2.7m Abu Dhabi event.

    The Abu Dhabi Championship was Larrazabal's third European Tour victory [Reuters]
    The Abu Dhabi Championship was Larrazabal's third European Tour victory [Reuters]

    Spaniard Pablo Larrazabal claimed his third European Tour victory after holding off Phil Mickelson and Rory McIlroy to win the $2.7 million Abu Dhabi Championship by one shot.

    Larrazabal held his nerve on the final green, a birdie taking him to 14-under after a final round of 67, his path to victory eased by a calamitous 13th hole for world number five Mickelson.

    The Open champion took a triple bogey seven after fluffing an escape attempt from a bush and despite getting back into contention with birdies at 14 and 16, he could not get the eagle he needed at the last to force an unlikely playoff.

    "It feels great," the 103-ranked Larrazabal told the European Tour website. 

    "Only me and my team know how much we've worked during the last three years."

    McIlroy troubles

    World number seven McIlroy was left to rue a two shot penalty in the third round, as well as a string of missed birdie opportunities after strong play off the tee and approaching the green.

    "It's frustrating, I've played well the whole week," the two-time major winner said.

    "It's a very positive start to the season so I'm not going to let one little negative ruin that. I came in here telling everyone that I'm really happy with my game and done some good work and felt like it was coming together for me at the end of last year. I've continued that on, so I'm really excited for the rest of the season."

    Overnight leader Craig Lee's hopes of scooping the first European Tour victory of his career were scuppered after the Briton slumped to a 77 and a tie for 10th.

    SOURCE: Reuters


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