Paul Casey has won the Abu Dhabi Golf Championship by a single shot from Germany’s Martin Kaymer and Louis Oosthuizen of South Africa.
The Englishman hadn’t won since 2007, when he tasted victory in the same event, and he made life difficult for himself on the back nine this time round. He led by six with only eight holes to play, but the 31-year-old bogeyed three of the next four holes and with Oosthuizen on a charge up ahead the destination of the title began to look less certain.
But Casey parred his way in from the 15th to hold on by a single stroke. It’s his ninth career European Tour title and it lifts him to 21st on the Official World Golf Ranking. The victory also makes Casey the fifth most prolific English winner ever on the European Tour. Only Nick Faldo, Lee Westwood, Mark James and Howard Clark have won more tournaments.
“That was a bit of a nervous one.” Said Casey. “I started off great, but it was tricky coming in. The greens were exceptionally difficult to read and there were a couple of camera clicks that put me off. It feels very satisfying to get my hands on the trophy again.”
Defending champion Martin Kaymer was playing with Casey during the final round and, despite some superb golf including an eagle three at the closing hole, the German fell just short of retaining his title. “I had a really good finish with the eagle and that was a nice moment, a little like last year with the spectators around me, so it was pretty cool.” He said.
Oosthuizen came from nowhere with a fantastic final round of 64. He made eight birdies with no dropped shots to finish on a total of -20: good enough for a tie for second.
England’s Anthony Wall made a crucial birdie on the final hole to end the week alone in fourth, just one shot ahead of Padraig Harrington, Rory McIlroy and Johan Edfors.
Abu Dhabi Golf Championship
Abu Dhabi Golf Club, Abu Dhabi
Jan 15-18, purse €1,110,000, par 72
1 Paul Casey (Eng) 69 65 63 70 267 €245,122
T2 Martin Kaymer (Ger) 68 68 65 67 268 €127,742
T2 Louis Oosthuizen (RSA) 67 69 68 64 268 €127,742
4 Anthony Wall (Eng) 67 67 69 67 270 €73,537
T5 Johan Edfors (Swe) 66 69 69 67 271 €52,653
T5 Padraig Harrington (Ire) 71 66 68 66 271 €52,653
T5 Rory McIlroy (NIR) 66 69 71 65 271 €52,653
T8 Sergio Garcia (Esp) 70 71 67 64 272 €34,857
T8 Danny Willett (Eng) 71 66 68 67 272 €34,857
Note: Players in bold signifies Titleist ball usage only