Offaly’s Shane Lowry achieved a wire-to-wire victory at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship in the United Arab Emirates as he got the better of South Afrcian Richard Sterne in the final round.
The Clara native began the final day round of the tournamet with a three-shot lead but carded four bogeys and two birdies in the opening 11 holes, meaning he was then four strokes behind Sterne.
The 31 year old soon fought back scoring back-to-back birdies at the 12th and 13th while his main rival began to drop shots on the home stretch. With Lowry claiming another birdie on the final hole for a 71, he won by a single shot.
Describing the eventful final round of the tournament, Lowry stated:
“It was an emotional roller coaster today. I obviously went out with the lead by a few and before I knew it I was four behind. I was brave out there today. I ground it out well and I’m over the moon. I’m so excited with this win. I can’t really tell you how good it feels to be standing here.”
His 18 under par total gave the Irishman his first tournament victory since the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational in 2015 and he now leads the Race to Dubai Rankings.
Dutchman Joost Luiten was alone in third on 15 under after producing two eagles in his final-round 65, with Major winner Louis Oosthuizen a further shot back.
Explaining the significance of Saturday’s win, Shane Lowry added:
“It’s nice to have a star beside my name and to win a Rolex Series event. We are very lucky to be able to play Rolex events on The European Tour. They have done a great job putting these events together, and I’m just over the moon to have one of them. I’m just so grateful that I’ve won this and I’m so happy, and I’m going to really enjoy it because you just don’t know when it’s going to happen again.”