England’s Tyrrell Hatton wins by four at Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship

Tyrrell Hatton and Rory McIlroy
-18 T Hatton (Eng); -14 J Scrivener (Aus); -13 R McIlroy (NI); -12 R Cabrera Bello (Spa); -11 M Warren (Sco), D Lipsky (US); -10 T Fleetwood (Eng), F Zanotti (Par), C Paisley (Eng), M Wallace (Eng)
Selected : -6 D Willett (Eng), S Jamieson (Sco), R MacIntyre, S Gallacher (Sco); -5 A Sullivan (Eng), A Rai (Eng); -4 C Shinkwin (Eng), R Bland (Eng), D Drysdale; -3 M Southgate; -2 C Hill (Sco), J Morrison (Eng), -1 J Smith (Eng); Par O Wilson (Eng), M Armitage (Eng), G Forrest (Sco) +1 J Rose (Eng), R Rock (Eng); +3 L Westwood (Eng)

Tyrrell Hatton overturned Rory McIlroy’s overnight lead to win the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship by four shots.

The Englishman began the final round one behind Northern Ireland’s McIlroy but the world number nine’s bogey-free six-under 66 saw him win on 18 under.

Australian Jason Scrivener also shot a 66 – and was seven-under for his back nine – to finish second on 14 under.

World number six McIlroy birdied the last to close with a level-par 72 and claim third spot on 13 under.

Englishmen Tommy Fleetwood, Chris Paisley and Matt Wallace ended the championship in joint sixth on 10 under alongside Paraguay’s Fabrizio Zanotti, one shot behind Scotland’s Marc Warren and David Lipsky of the United States.

“It’s surreal to be honest. Even knocking the putt in on 18 doesn’t seem like I’ve won the tournament but it’s amazing,” said Hatton, 29.

“I’ve always loved starting my season here in Abu Dhabi and to now add my name on that trophy with so many great champions before me is a huge honour.”

McIlroy falls short again in Abu Dhabi

McIlroy was hoping to claim a long-awaited first victory at the Abu Dhabi Championship, having finished runner-up four times in his past 10 appearances.

The four-time major winner, contesting his first European Tour event in 14 months, said he wanted “to make it my turn” after a five-under-par 67 handed him a one-shot lead after three rounds.

Birdies on the second and third holes moved him two shots clear, however he surrendered top spot with bogeys on the fourth and eighth holes before Hatton began to pull away with an excellent birdie putt on the 10th.

McIlroy’s challenge faltered, falling three behind with the third of his four bogeys on the 11th, and Hatton moved beyond reach with two more birdies on the back nine.

“I don’t feel like I played great this week, I felt I was managing my game a bit,” McIlroy said. “It’s nice to get a competitive week under my belt, know where my game is and see what I have to do to keep improving.”

Scrivener jumped up the leaderboard with a stunning back nine that was kick-started by an eagle on the par-five 10th and five birdies followed.

The world number 219’s run came after a poor run of three bogeys in five holes on his front nine.

Fleetwood, who had briefly led during round three, remained in contention after a third birdie of the front nine took him within one shot of the lead at the halfway point.

That would the last birdie of his round though and a bogey on the 16th was followed by a double bogey on the 17th as his challenge faded.

The Abu Dhabi Championship was the first event to offer Race to Dubai and qualifying points since the Covid-19 pandemic halted proceedings last March.

The four European players who earn the most Race to Dubai points and the five who collect most world ranking points will qualify for Europe’s 2021 Ryder Cup team.

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