World of Sport

Abu Dhabi joy for Donaldson

Sunday 20th January 2013 12:28

Jamie Donaldson: Closing 68 gave him victory by a shot

Jamie Donaldson: Closing 68 gave him victory by a shot

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Jamie Donaldson survived a late scare to win the Abu Dhabi Golf Championship with a final round 68.

The Welshman had put together a superb closing round, with birdies at 1, 9, 11, 14 and 15 putting him two shots clear playing the last.

However, after laying up at the par five 18th, he hit a modest wedge and then three-putted from 30 feet to leave the door open for overnight leader Justin Rose and Denmark's Thorbjorn Olesen, who were back down the fairway.

Both needed birdie to match Donaldson's total of 14-under but Olesen's putt for a four from 18 feet stayed left and Rose's effort from 15 feet power-lipped out to ensure the Welsh star secured his second European Tour win.

Rose had started with a two-shot lead in a dramatic final round but looked flat early on and went to the turn in level par 36.

The hot man on the course at that stage was England's David Howell who roared into a one-shot lead with five birdies in his first 10 holes and then lipped out at 11 when attempting to go two clear.

But Howell, seeking a first European Tour win since 2006, bogeyed the 12th and then suffered a disastrous triple bogey seven at the 13th after four-putting from five feet.

Rose finally began to find a spark with birdies at 12 and 14 but a loose second to 16 cost him a bogey and left Donaldson in the driving seat.

Olesen, too, continued to battle and a birdie at 17 left him two behind but, despite Donaldson's error at 18, the new Nike employee couldn't cash in and his 69 and Rose's 71 left them both a shot short.

Portugal's Ricardo Santos fired a 68 to finish in solo fourth, with South African Branden Grace (65) fifth after making birdies at each of the last four holes. Howell (71) eventually finished tied sixth alongside Ryder Cup hero Martin Kaymer (69) and Dutchman Joost Luiten (67).

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