Henrik Stenson?s superb record in the United Arab Emirates continued when he holed a ten foot putt on the final green to take the Dubai Desert Classic by one shot from Ernie Els.
The leaderboard going into the final round promised much and did not disappoint as an exciting day unfolded. In search of his fourth Desert Classic Els took a two shot lead into Sunday but soon saw it disappear with three dropped shots in the first six holes. Strong winds meant that he did not loose much ground on the field and it became a case of who made the fewest mistakes.
Stenson seemed to cope with the wind better than most but a poor front nine performance with the putter left him frustrated early on. Woods by his own admission suffered a nightmare week on the greens. His ball striking had kept him in contention but uncharacteristically fatted a chip at the 11th which ended up in the bunker, the resulting bogey left him too far behind for a successful late serge.
While most struggled with the wind Englishman Ross Fisher looked calm at the top until a double bogey six at the eighth stopped him in his tracks. A commendable 71 still gave the promising 26 year old a top five finish just behind Woods and Niclas Fasth.
Stenson began to hole some putts on the back nine and this combined with world class ball striking meant the Swede was unstoppable. He was one ahead of Els on the 18th tee where both players made birdie to give Dubai based Stenson his first win of 2007.
“I fought hard all week and to beat Ernie by one shot feels awesome, living down here in Dubai and having my friends and family with me this week is something special,” said Stenson.