Omega Dubai Desert Clas­sic 2017

Ser­gio Gar­cia Seals Dom­i­nant Dubai Vic­tory

Golf Asia (Malaysia) - - TEE BOX - IMAGES © OMEGA SA/GETTY IMAGES

Ser­gio Gar­cia led from start to fin­ish to hold off Open cham­pion Hen­rik Sten­son and win the US$2.5 mil­lion Dubai Desert Clas­sic for his first Euro­pean Tour vic­tory in three years. The Spa­niard started the fi­nal day three shots ahead of the Swede and fin­ished with the mar­gin in­tact on 19-un­der-par 269 af­ter they carded match­ing 69s. It was Gar­cia's first Euro­pean Tour win since the 2014 Qatar Mas­ters and will pro­pel him up in the world rank­ings from his cur­rent place. Den­mark’s Lasse Jensen shot the low­est round of the fi­nal day, a seven-un­der-par 65, to climb to tied third place with Eng­land's Tyrrell Hat­ton (67).

An open­ing-hole birdie, fol­lowed by another on the ninth, saw Gar­cia make the turn four ahead of Sten­son and even though the Swede closed the gap to two shots with three birdies and a bo­gey in his next five holes, the 37-year-old Gar­cia rarely felt se­ri­ously threat­ened.

The key mo­ment of the tour­na­ment came on the par-three 15th hole when Gar­cia hit a su­perb tee shot to two feet for a birdie, while Sten­son over­shot the green and set­tled for a bo­gey. "I think at that time I was two ahead. He hit a good shot on the 15th, pretty much straight over the flag, just left a lit­tle bit, and too much club," said Gar­cia. "When he went over the green I knew that it was go­ing to be very dif­fi­cult to get up and down from there be­cause

I've been there in the past and it's very, very tricky." Gar­cia, who is yet to win a ma­jor cham­pi­onship, added: "Re­ally happy to get the win and it is al­ways tough to win against

some­one like Hen­rik."

Sten­son, the 2007 Dubai cham­pion, said that Gar­cia re­mained tan­ta­lis­ingly just out of reach. "I was three shots back at the start of the day and Ser­gio made an early birdie so I was trail­ing all day. I was ex­pect­ing that," he said. "I needed to come up with some re­ally solid play and even though I didn't quite play my best, I still man­aged to sneak a cou­ple of birdies in there in the mid­dle of the back nine and move closer."

Sten­son ad­mit­ted that the 15th was the big mo­ment.

"That’s ob­vi­ously where it all kind of fin­ished. At the same time, Ser­gio hit a lovely shot to about two and a half feet and it was pretty much game, set and match on the 15th green."

Eng­land’s Matthew Fitz­patrick (67) and Amer­i­can Peter Uih­lein were tied fifth at 276, while South African Ge­orge Coet­zee, who was in con­tention at one stage, fin­ished tied sev­enth along with com­pa­triot Bran­don Stone.

Omega Pres­i­dent & CEO, Mr Ray­nald Aeschli­mann hand­ing Ser­gio a brand new Omega Sea­mas­ter Aqua Terra 150m Master Co-Ax­ial

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