Antoine Rozner secured his maiden European Tour title at the Golf in Dubai Championship presented by DP World after posting a superb eight under par 64 on a thrilling final day at Jumeirah Golf Estates.
Rozner started the day four shots behind leader Andy Sullivan but reeled him in on the back nine having picked up seven shots in eight holes from the Fire course’s fifth hole. The Frenchman dropped a shot on the 15th to hand the advantage to Sullivan once again but picked up two more shots in his closing three holes to get to 25 under and finish two shots ahead of Francesco Laporta, Mike Lorenzo-Vera, Matt Wallace and Sullivan.
“I’ve been close twice this season in Mauritius and at Valderrama,” said Rozner, who graduated from the Challenge Tour last season. “I couldn’t close it out then so I’m really happy to have done it now with the way I played this week. 64 in the final round is always a pretty good score so to get it done in this fashion is a pretty big deal for me.
“I had no idea what was going on elsewhere on the course. I knew Mike was playing well because I saw it flash up on a leaderboard but I literally found out I was leading when I got to the 18th green. I think that helped me as I didn’t want to know what was going on so I told my caddie ‘I don’t want to know, I just want to keep pushing and be aggressive.’ I think it was a pretty good strategy!”
Sullivan had led from day one after his spellbinding course record 61 but after being caught he struggled to get ahead again as he failed to pick up a shot coming on his closing nine. The Englishman needed an eagle on the closing hole to force a play-off but could only muster par as he finished on 23 under.
Sullivan’s playing partner Wallace finished alongside him after posting five birdies in his final seven holes. The four-time European Tour winner had started the day just two shots off the pace and picked up a shot on his opening hole but a double-bogey six on the third set him back and after not picking up another shot in nine holes, he had to settle for his second runner-up finish of the season.
Lorenzo-Vera and Laporta joined the English duo in second place after carding rounds of 65 and 66 respectively. Both men made bogey on the par four 17th which thwarted any real opportunity of securing the inaugural Championship.
Grant Forrest finished two further back alone in sixth while Ross Fisher secured seventh on 20 under par. Joakim Lagergren, Steven Brown, Nicolas Lemke, Marc Warren, and Bernd Wiesberger completed the top ten as they shared eighth on 19 under par.
Focus now turns to next week’s season-ending DP World Tour Championship with the top 60 available players on the Race to Dubai set to go head-to-head over the Earth course. Major winners Patrick Reed and Collin Morikawa will be in town while former Race to Dubai winner Tommy Fleetwood and Lee Westwood are in the hunt to be crowned European Tour Number One once again.
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