Class is permanent for Lee Westwood as he claims Abu Dhabi title

The 46-year-old takes his winning tally on the European Tour to 25 after closing 67

Lee Westwood of England celebrates after winning the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship. Photo: Andrew Redington/Getty Images

Lee Westwood of England celebrates after winning the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship. Photo: Andrew Redington/Getty Images

 

Lee Westwood held off the challenges of fellow Englishmen Matt Fitzpatrick and Tommy Fleetwood plus France’s Victor Perez to clinch the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship with a final-round score of 67.

The former world number one was the overnight leader and although his one-shot advantage came under threat, he claimed another of the European Tour’s prestigious Rolex Series events to take his total of victories on his home circuit to 25.

Fitzpatrick was two off Westwood before the start of the day and an impressive front nine saw him pile on the pressure.

But the 46-year-old kept his cool and continued to putt well to secure a two-shot victory with a final day five under to finish on 19 under overall and make him a winner in four different decades.

“It’s been a good week,” Westwood told europeantour.com. “I wasn’t really paying any attention to what other people were doing.

“I was trying to control me, control my emotions and control what I’m working on in the golf swing. Just managed to do that.

“A little slip-up at 16. Like I said yesterday, with what I’m working on, if I don’t quite do it, I hit a pull, and I hit a pull second shot and pulled the putt actually, as well, but I hit some good shots coming in, and really just pleased with the way I controlled myself.”

Westwood was 63 in the world going into the event, but the first victory by an English player on the 2020 Race to Dubai should move him into the top 30.

Lee Westwood of England celebrates after winning the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship. Photo: Warren Little/Getty Images
Lee Westwood of England celebrates after winning the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship. Photo: Warren Little/Getty Images

Fitzpatrick is already in there and was pleased to start the year with a strong performance, he added: “Front nine I felt like could I hole everything and managed to hole one putt for par, which was nice to keep a bit of momentum going.

“Just on back nine, just couldn’t make a thing. It was just one of those days, but hey, that’s golf. I’m delighted. It’s a great start to the year.”

Fleetwood, on his 29th birthday, carded a final round of nine under to finish on 17 under, but fell just short of winning the event for a third time.

He said: “You just concentrate on what you’re doing and every time, every week we play, somebody is going to play great golf and at the moment that’s Lee.

“I’m very, very happy with my weekend, I felt like I played some really good golf.”

Matthew Fitzpatrick lines up his putt on the 12th green. Photo: Warren Little/Getty Images
Matthew Fitzpatrick lines up his putt on the 12th green. Photo: Warren Little/Getty Images

Perez joined Fleetwood with a final round of 63 to come joint-second while Louis Oosthuizen finished fifth on 15 under.

Sergio Garcia finished six off Westwood to come tied for eighth alongside Austria’s Bernd Wiesberger, who was in the running overnight with Italian Francesco Laporta, but both men endured difficult final days.

Collated final round scores & totals in the European Tour Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship presented by EGA, Abu Dhabi GC, Abu Dhabi, UAE (Gbr & Irl unless stated, par 72):

269 Lee Westwood 69 68 65 67

271 Tommy Fleetwood 71 70 67 63, Victor Perez (Fra) 70 70 68 63, Matthew Fitzpatrick 68 67 69 67

273 Louis Oosthuizen (Rsa) 69 68 70 66

274 Ross Fisher 70 71 66 67, Shaun Norris (Rsa) 64 77 68 65

275 Sergio Garcia (Spa) 67 69 69 70, Martin Kaymer (Ger) 68 73 69 65, Bernd Wiesberger (Aut) 69 69 65 72, Scott Jamieson 71 72 67 65

276 Sam Horsfield 73 69 67 67, Paul Waring 71 71 67 67, Jack Singh Brar 70 70 68 68, Rafael Cabrera-Bello (Spa) 67 68 71 70, Erik Van Rooyen (Rsa) 73 68 69 66

277 Scott Hend (Aus) 69 70 69 69, Branden Grace (Rsa) 68 72 69 68, Francesco Laporta (Ita) 71 63 69 74, Masahiro Kawamura (Jpn) 69 71 70 67

278 Zach Murray (Aus) 67 72 70 69, Andy Sullivan 69 71 68 70, Sebastian Heisele (Ger) 70 73 64 71, Joakim Lagergren (Swe) 75 65 68 70, Brandon Stone (Rsa) 71 72 66 69, Jordan Smith 74 68 67 69, Gavin Green (Mal) 73 70 67 68, Edoardo Molinari (Ita) 68 73 68 69, Renato Paratore (Ita) 64 72 76 66

279 Yuxin Lin (a) (Chn) 69 70 70 70, David Lipsky (USA) 73 69 68 69, Jack Senior 71 70 66 72, Thomas Pieters (Bel) 68 70 70 71

280 Kurt Kitayama (USA) 67 70 68 75, Brooks Koepka (USA) 66 75 70 69, Mike Lorenzo-Vera (Fra) 68 73 67 72, Jorge Campillo (Spa) 71 72 67 70, Zander Lombard (Rsa) 67 71 69 73, Patrick Cantlay (USA) 71 66 72 71, Romain Langasque (Fra) 70 71 67 72

281 Haotong Li (Chn) 67 69 74 71

282 Richie Ramsay 71 69 69 73, Joost Luiten (Ned) 70 68 73 71, Nicolas Colsaerts (Bel) 69 72 71 70, Ashley Chesters 72 69 68 73, Matthias Schwab (Aut) 74 66 69 73, Oliver Fisher 71 70 72 69, Kiradech Aphibarnrat (Tha) 70 73 65 74, Sebastian Soderberg (Swe) 75 64 73 70, Sean Crocker (USA) 72 70 68 72

283 Soren Kjeldsen (Den) 70 70 70 73, Adri Arnaus (Spa) 70 67 75 71, Justin Harding (Rsa) 69 73 72 69, Wade Ormsby (Aus) 71 71 70 71

284 David Drysdale 70 71 72 71, Matthieu Pavon (Fra) 71 70 72 71, Justin Walters (Rsa) 73 70 69 72, Thomas Detry (Bel) 69 70 67 78

285 Shubhankar Sharma (Ind) 71 70 69 75, Jason Scrivener (Aus) 66 74 74 71, Jeff Winther (Den) 73 70 71 71, Haydn Porteous (Rsa) 69 71 72 73, Christiaan Bezuidenhout (Rsa) 71 72 72 70

286 Matt Wallace 73 70 69 74

287 Thomas Bjorn (Den) 71 71 73 72

288 Grant Forrest 74 68 73 73

289 Lucas Herbert (Aus) 69 69 76 75, Nacho Elvira (Spa) 72 67 78 72

290 David Law 70 68 76 76, Andrew Johnston 69 74 72 75, Victor Dubuisson (Fra) 70 73 75 72, Alexander Bjork (Swe) 73 70 79 68

291 David Howell 70 72 75 74

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