Saturday , May 15 2021

Tyrrell Hatton wins Abu Dhabi Championship as Rory McIlroy fades on the final day

England’s Hatton had battled with Rory McIlory at the top of the leaderboard throughout the week, but a closing 72 saw McIlory finish five shots off the lead at the Abu Dhabi Golf Club.

It hands Hatton, 29, an early lead in the Race to Dubai rankings — the lucrative season-long competition to determine the best player on the European Tour.

“It’s surreal to be honest,” Hatton said. “Even there, knocking the putt in on 18, it doesn’t feel like I’ve won the tournament.”

Hatton started the day one shot back from McIlroy and one ahead of compatriot Tommy Fleetwood.

But both McIlroy and Fleetwood struggled on the final day, the former carding four bogeys and the latter shooting 73 after a double bogey on the 17th hole.

By contrast, Hatton avoided missteps on Sunday as he shot six birdies to equal John Rahm’s record of four Rolex Series titles.

The victory could also see Hatton, who secured his first PGA Tour win last year, move into the top five of the golf world rankings.

That’s after he enjoyed a sensational 2020, climbing into the world top 10 during a year he called “the best of my career so far.”

After a final round 66 featuring seven birdies and an eagle on the 10th, Australia’s Jason Scrivener moved ahead of McIlory to finish second in Dubai.

The European Tour remains in Abu Dhabi for next weekend’s Dubai Desert Classic.

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