| Reigns in Desert

HK Golfer - - Contents - By Louie Chan

Ser­gio Garcia makes it a dozen in the desert by claim­ing his 12th Euro­pean Tour ti­tle as he com­pleted a dom­i­nant wire-to-wire win at the Omega Dubai Desert Clas­sic.

Ser­gio Garcia makes it a dozen in the desert by claim­ing his 12th Euro­pean Tour ti­tle as he com­pleted a dom­i­nant wire-to-wire win at the Omega Dubai Desert Clas­sic, writes Louie Chan.

The Spa­niard set the tone with an open­ing-round 65 at Emi­rates Golf Club and never looked back, fin­ish­ing with a bo­geyfree 69 to get to 19 un­der and beat The Open cham­pion Hen­rik Stenson by three shots. Garcia en­tered the fi­nal round with a three-shot lead and while back-to-back birdies from Stenson on the 13th and 14th ap­plied some pres­sure, the 37-yearold pro­duced a stun­ning tee-shot on the 15th and a bril­liant up-and-down on the next to ease to vic­tory.

English­man Tyrrell Hat­ton and Dane Lasse Jensen were then at 14 un­der, two shots clear of Matthew Fitz­patrick and Peter Uih­lein.

Garcia cel­e­brated his 250th Euro­pean Tour ap­pear­ance in some style, claim­ing his first win since the 2014 Com­mer­cial Bank Qatar Masters and po­ten­tially mov­ing back into the top ten of the Of­fi­cial World Golf Rank­ing. The vic­tory con­tin­ued Spain’s fine record in the Dubai Desert Clas­sic as Garcia be­came the sixth Span­ish win­ner fol­low­ing the great Seve Balles­teros, José María Olazábal, Miguel Án­gel Jiménez, Al­varo Quiros and Rafa Cabr­era Bello.

“I’m very happy to play the way I played, “Garcia said. “The way I han­dled some of the key mo­ments and to beat Hen­rik, we all know how great a player he is. Hen­rik is al­ways there so you’ve got to stay calm and col­lected with him.

“The eighth was very, very big be­cause it was the worst drive I hit all week, un­for­tu­nately, but it was a mas­sive save and then I birdied nine which was great. The 16th was im­por­tant but I think 15 was more im­por­tant. Even on the 18th with a four-shot lead I knew that I needed to hit a good third shot be­cause you can mess it up a lit­tle bit there if you’re not care­ful.

“It’s a great start to the year so we’re go­ing to try to keep go­ing the same way.” The Spa­niard con­cluded.

Garcia got off to the per­fect start, putting his ap­proach to the first to in­side six feet and rolling it home to ex­tend his lead. Stenson made a fan­tas­tic birdie af­ter find­ing trou­ble off the tee on the sixth, putting an ap­proach to 15-feet and rolling in the putt and while Garcia was in worse trou­ble on the eighth af­ter find­ing the desert, he found his ball and made par from the sand. He car­ried that mo­men­tum to the ninth and an ex­cel­lent ap­proach brought a birdie and re­stored his four-shot lead at the turn.

Stenson holed an 18-footer on the tenth for birdie and while he bo­geyed the 12th, he took ad­van­tage of the par five next and then put an ap­proach to eight feet on the 14th to sit two back with four to play. Garcia hit back in stun­ning fash­ion, putting his tee-shot on the 15th to two feet while Stenson bo­geyed, and when he pro­duced a bril­liant bump-and-run to save par on the 16th, Stenson’s birdie on the last only served to nar­row the gap.

Garcia’s vic­tory means a tro­phy, win­ner’s cheque and a brand-new OMEGA Sea­mas­ter Aqua Terra 150M Master Co-Ax­ial. The time­piece fea­tures an 18K red gold case, brown leather strap, and the OMEGA Master Co-Ax­ial cal­i­bre 8501, that boasts ex­quis­ite re­li­a­bil­ity and pre­ci­sion. As well as fea­tur­ing the Aqua Terra’s teak pat­terned dial, the watch is also able to re­sist strong mag­netic fields of 15,000 gauss.

Omega Pres­i­dent and CEO Ray­nald Aeschli­mann said: “Con­grat­u­la­tions to our am­bas­sador Ser­gio Garcia on his win and for treat­ing us all to world class golf. It’s been a thrill from the first tee off. At Omega we are very proud to be part of this fan­tas­tic event, which is a real high­light of the golf­ing year. Best wishes to ev­ery­one from Omega to our friend Ser­gio Garcia”.

Fur­ther­more, Omega has pub­licly an­nounced its on­go­ing sup­port for the Omega Dubai Desert Clas­sic and re­news its com­mit­ment to the “Ma­jor of the Mid­dle East”. For more than 25 years, the tour­na­ment

“I’m very happy to play the way I played. We all know how great a player he is. Hen­rik is al­ways there so you’ve got to stay calm and col­lected with him.”

has been a cel­e­bra­tion of golf­ing ex­cel­lence and Omega has served as ti­tle spon­sor since 2010. This is also the eighth year that the Swiss watch brand has been the ti­tle spon­sor.

Ser­gio Garcia walks next to Hen­rik Stenson of Swe­den dur­ing the fi­nal round of the tour­na­ment

Garcia cel­e­brated his 250th Euro­pean Tour ap­pear­ance in some style, claim­ing his first win since the 2014 Com­mer­cial Bank Qatar Masters

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