Grégory Bourdy of France held off a late challenge from young Rory McIlroy to win the UBS Hong Kong Open at Fanling. McIlroy who finished runner-up moved to the top of the Race to Dubai.
Bourdy began the day at the head of the field after an excellent third round of 63. He played solidly through the final 18 holes and was unflustered by McIlroy’s charge up the leaderboard. As the Northern Irishman made a string of birdies plus an eagle on the back nine, Bourdy held his nerve and ground out the victory. It was a third European Tour title for the Frenchman and it earned him a place in the Dubai World Championship next week.
“It is fantastic. It is my mother’s birthday today so I dedicate this to her,” he said. “I needed this victory to go to Dubai as well. I wanted to stay focused on my game, play shot by shot and I knew if I was three or four under it would be ok to win the tournament.”
McIlroy completed a superb final round of 64 to finish two behind Bourdy. He was left to rue a costly three-putt bogey on the par-4 17th but he could console himself with the fact that, in picking up a cheque for nearly €200,000, he has moved ahead of Lee Westwood at the top of the Race to Dubai standings.
“I went out with the mindset that if I went lower than 65 then I might have a chance but Gregory obviously played very well,” said the 20-year-old. “I have the consolation of going back to the top of The Race to Dubai. It is where I wanted to be going into the final tournament.”
Francesco Molinari finished tied for third with Robert-Jan Derksen. The Dutchman needed a second place finish to earn a trip to Dubai next week and, at 67th, in the rankings will now miss out.
The toughest luck story came from Darren Clarke. Despite finishing in a tie for 11th he couldn’t move into the top-60. He ended the season in 61st spot – one place shy of making it to Dubai. “I’ve tried my heart out all week,” he said.
UBS Hong Kong Open
Hong Kong GC, Fanling, Hong Kong
Nov 12-15, purse $1,700,000, par 70
1 Grégory Bourdy (Fra) 64 67 63 67 261 €279,289
2 Rory McIlroy (NIR) 66 68 65 64 263 €186,190
T3 Robert-Jan Derksen (Ned) 63 68 65 68 264 €94,345
T3 Francesco Molinari (Ita) 66 68 66 64 264 €94,345
T5 Raphael Jacquelin (Fra) 66 68 68 64 266 €64,851
T5 Ian Poulter (Eng) 68 66 68 64 266 €64,851
7 Peter Lawrie (Ire) 66 68 66 67 267 €50,272
8 Simon Dyson (Eng) 68 67 67 66 268 €41,894
T9 David Dixon (Eng) 64 69 69 67 269 €35,526
T9 Scott Strange (Aus) 68 65 70 66 269 €35,526
Note: Player scores in bold signifies Titleist ball usage only