Rory McIlroy fades as Tyrrell Hatton cruises to Abu Dhabi win

McIlroy misses out on title once again after carding a disappointing final round of 72

Rory McIlroy congratulates Tyrrell Hatton after his win in Abu Dhabi. Photograph: Andrew Redington/Getty

Rory McIlroy congratulates Tyrrell Hatton after his win in Abu Dhabi. Photograph: Andrew Redington/Getty

 

Perhaps you can put it down to growing maturity, but Tyrrell Hatton’s upward trending was again evident in a masterful final round display as he usurped all-comers, among them Rory McIlroy, to lay claim to a €1.2 million payday at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship where a final round 66 for an 18-under-par total of 270 gave him a four stroke winning margin over runner-up Jason Scrivener.

While Hatton’s evolution from an angry young man to being a perpetual Mr Happy has been showcased with four big career wins in the past 14 months, adding the Abu Dhabi crown to the Turkish Airlines (2019) and Arnold Palmer Invitational and BMW PGA (2020) wins, McIlroy - the 54 holes leader - was again left to rue a disappointing final round, where he failed to fire and required a closing birdie for a 72 for 275, five strokes behind the champion.

McIlroy actually started well, with two birdies in his opening three holes, to increase his overnight lead to two strokes. Thereafter, though, he played second fiddle to Hatton who finish the front nine strongly, rolling in birdie putts on the seventh and a 27 footer on the ninth, before stealing a left-to-right breaker from 35 feet on the 10th. McIlroy, in contrast, suffered bogeys on the eighth and 11th, after finding greenside bunkers.

“The couple of bogeys around the turn didn’t help. I thought I was in good position on 10 and Tyrrell was outside of me, makes that putt for birdie, and then I can’t make mine for eagle and that was a huge sort of momentum-keeper for him.Then I bogeyed the next and after that, it was sort of hard to get back into it.

“I don’t feel like I played great this week. Felt like I was managing my game a bit,” said McIlroy, who moves on to the PGA Tour stop in Torrey Pines this week for the Farmers Insurance Open.”It was nice to get a competitive week under my belt and see where my game is and what I need to do to keep on improving.”

McIlroy added: “I thought for the most part of the week, my short game and my putting was good. I scrambled well. . . . .I thought there was parts of rounds where I got the driver going, even the last few holes there I got the driver going a little bit.

Tyrrell Hatton celebrates his win in Abu Dhabi. Photograph: Andrew Redington/Getty
Tyrrell Hatton celebrates his win in Abu Dhabi. Photograph: Andrew Redington/Getty

“But still, sometimes I’ll have a few holes where it’s like that and there’s a few holes where it sort of gets away from me. So a little more consistency and being able to replicate the good ones hole after hole and then day after day until you sort of put four rounds together.”

That long birdie putt on the 10th was nominated by Hatton as “huge” in taking a grip on his own destiny. “It was maybe going eight feet past and just hit the hole, then my tee shot on 11, that’s pitched on the side of the bunker and it’s come out. We’ve seen plugged lies in the lips this week, so that was another bit of good fortune,” said Hatton who, for the most part, made his own luck with some excellent approach play and strong display of putting to strengthen his claims for a place on the Ryder Cup team later this year.

“That’s a huge goal for me this year, to make that team. I’m obviously delighted that I’ve managed to pick up a load of points this week,” said the Englishman.

Australian Scrivener produced a phenomenal home ward run - an eagle and five birdies - for a back nine of 29 strokes in a closing 66 for 274 to leap from the pack and claim solo second, for his best ever finish on the European Tour.

Pádraig Harrington confessed to being “out of sorts” in a final round 73 for 291 which saw him finish in tied-62nd place.

Collated final scores & totals in the European Tour Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship (Gbr & Irl unless stated, par 72):

270 Tyrrell Hatton 65 68 71 66

274 Jason Scrivener (Aus) 67 70 71 66

275 Rory McIlroy 64 72 67 72

276 Rafael Cabrera (Spa) 67 67 73 69

277 David Lipsky (USA) 72 66 68 71, Marc Warren 72 66 68 71

278 Chris Paisley 72 68 69 69, Fabrizio Zanotti (Pry) 66 71 72 69, Matt Wallace 68 70 71 69, Tommy Fleetwood 71 67 67 73

279 George Coetzee (Rsa) 70 71 68 70

280 Adria Arnaus (Spa) 74 67 69 70, Christiaan Bezuidenhout (Rsa) 71 71 67 71, Wade Ormsby (Aus) 69 70 70 71

281 Mikko Korhonen (Fin) 69 69 71 72

282 Antoine Rozner (Fra) 71 72 71 68, Benjamin Hebert (Fra) 68 73 74 67, Danny Willett 71 72 71 68, Ignacio Elvira (Spa) 68 68 75 71, Kristoffer Broberg (Swe) 69 69 73 71, Robert MacIntyre 72 69 71 70, Romain Langasque (Fra) 67 70 74 71, Scott Jamieson 71 70 71 70, Stephen Gallacher 69 68 73 72

283 Aaron Rai 69 72 72 70, Alexander Levy (Fra) 72 70 69 72, Andy Sullivan 72 71 70 70, Bernd Wiesberger (Aut) 70 72 70 71, Jazz Janewattananond (Tha) 68 69 74 72, Lucas Herbert (Aus) 68 68 74 73, Matthias Schwab (Aut) 71 71 72 69, Rasmus Hoejgaard (Den) 71 72 71 69, Richard Sterne (Rsa) 71 72 69 71, Victor Dubuisson (Fra) 73 69 69 72

284 Callum Shinkwin 70 69 75 70, David Drysdale 73 70 68 73, Joost Luiten (Ned) 69 70 74 71, Kurt Kitayama (USA) 68 74 71 71, Nino Bertasio (Ita) 71 67 73 73, Richard Bland 72 69 69 74

285 Lucas Bjerregaard (Den) 68 74 70 73, Matthew Southgate 74 65 75 71, Michael Lorenzo-Vera (Fra) 69 72 68 76, Tapio Pulkkanen (Fin) 73 70 72 70, Thomas Pieters (Bel) 69 71 70 75

286 Alexander Bjoerk (Swe) 70 72 74 70, Calum Hill 72 71 73 70, Henrik Stenson (Swe) 71 72 74 69, James Morrison 69 73 72 72, Nicolas Colsaerts (Bel) 72 71 71 72, Victor Perez (Fra) 68 73 69 76

287 Jordan Smith 72 71 69 75, Julien Guerrier (Fra) 74 68 74 71

288 Grant Forrest 72 70 70 76, Marcus Armitage 73 70 71 74, Oliver Wilson 70 70 75 73

289 Justin Rose 70 72 73 74, Masahiro Kawamura (Jpn) 71 70 72 76, Robert Rock 72 71 71 75, Scott Hend (Aus) 71 72 74 72

290 Jeff Winther (Den) 74 69 76 71

291 Justin Harding (Rsa) 73 69 76 73, Lee Westwood 69 73 75 74, Padraig Harrington 70 73 75 73, Soeren Kjeldsen (Den) 71 72 73 75

293 Sebastian Soederberg (Swe) 69 71 79 74

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