• Rickie makes history in Abu Dhabi

    Rickie makes history in Abu Dhabi

    On Sunday Rickie Fowler became only the second player to win a European Tour event on a sponsor’s invitation with his one-stroke victory at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship.

    ‘This was a big one. Last year, obviously having multiple-win season, but to come back and work on getting back in the winner’s circle after a successful season and keep moving forward; this is a great start,’ he said.

    The orange-clad American kept his nerve on the stretch to survive the charges made by Rory McIlroy, Henrik Stenson, and Thomas Pieters.

    Fowler also moved to fourth in the world as a result of his victory, which came on the back of a 16-under-par week at Abu Dhabi Golf Club. The new champ didn’t have the dream stretch of his rivals, but produced magical shots when the time came.

    The first incredible shot came at the eighth, where he holed a bunker shot for eagle to reclaim a three-shot lead after taking a double bogey at the seventh.

    ‘When something happens like that, it definitely gives you a little boost of confidence knowing that you’ve got a good break with that after having a bad break, and sometimes you need to little luck on your side to get some wins,’ he said.

    Fowler had the world’s best hot on his trail as the final round drew to a close, but he chipped in from the greenside rough at 17 to take a two-shot lead down the last. He made par at 18 and claimed his first victory of 2016.

    Branden Grace was unable to get firing on the back nine, yet shot 71 to record a tied-fifth finish on 11 under par. Countryman Trevor Fisher Jnr shared 16th after finishing the week on eight under par.

    ‘Obviously would have liked to be a lot closer to the top, but so it goes,’ said Grace. ‘I actually played really solid today. A lot of times, you’re not playing the type of golf to get those finishes, but I’m just grinding it out and I think that’s been the key so far.’

    Article written by