Pádraig Harrington mixes it with the young tyros with fourth place in Abu Dhabi

Shane Lowry has nightmare final round as Victor Perez takes victory on DP World Tour

The competitive fire still burns strongly for Pádraig Harrington who, after a cash rich rookie season on the Champions Tour last year, returned to his roots on the DP World Tour to show he can still mix it with the young tyros: a final round 67 for a total of 16-under-par 272 earned the 51-year-old Dubliner solo fourth place in the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship at Yas Links, where Frenchman Victor Perez claimed the title with an impressive performance.

However, it proved to be an underwhelming final day for Shane Lowry. Having entered the final round with a share of the lead and designs on the title, Lowry – in contention for much of the round – floundered on the back nine with a destructive run of bogey-bogey-triple bogey-bogey from the 14th ruining any aspirations and leaving the despondent Offalyman signing for a closing 76 for 279 that left him in tied-28th after plunging down the leaderboard.

Harrington, who has committed to a Middle East swing that will also take this coming week’s Dubai Desert Classic and the following week’s Ras Al Khaimah Championship before turning his attention back to the Champions Tour stateside, earned €415,691 for his fourth-placed finish which also had the effect of moving him to seventh on the Race to Dubai order of merit standing.

In a round which started with an opening bogey after bunker troubles, Harrington turned in 35 (one under on his card) and then reeled off four birdies in five holes from the 10th to navigate his way upwards for a fine finishing position.


Séamus Power, meanwhile, finished his brief stint on the DP World Tour with a closing 69 for 278 that left him in tied-20th. Power’s foreseeable future will be spent on the PGA Tour, having made his ambitions to make Europe’s Ryder Cup team clear after a fortnight in Abu Dhabi.

For Perez, his route to a third European Tour win was made in a strong opening 10 holes which yielded six birdies as he moved to the top of the leaderboard and even a closing bogey on the 18th failed to derail him as a 66 for 18-under-par 270 gave him a one stroke winning margin over Sebastian Soderberg and Min Woo Lee.

“You start the day and 15 guys are within three shots of the lead. You know it’s going to be a dogfight, and the course sets up for it ... to come out and put it together for 72 holes on a tough golf course, I was delighted with the victory,” said Perez, who collected the winner’s cheque for €1.4 million and moved to number one in the updated R2D standings.

Philip Reid

Philip Reid

Philip Reid is Golf Correspondent of The Irish Times