Larrazabal holds nerve to win Abu Dhabi Championship

Sun Jan 19, 2014 7:23am EST
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(Reuters) - Spaniard Pablo Larrazabal claimed his third European Tour victory after holding off Phil Mickelson and Rory McIlroy to win the $2.7 million Abu Dhabi Championship by one shot on Sunday.

Larrazabal held his nerve on the final green, a birdie taking him to 14-under after a final round of 67, his path to victory eased by a calamitous 13th hole for world number five Mickelson.

The Open champion took a triple bogey seven after fluffing an escape attempt from a bush and despite getting back into contention with birdies at 14 and 16, he could not get the eagle he needed at the last to force an unlikely playoff.

Mickelson, who had surged into contention with a dazzling 63 on Saturday and started the final round with three birdies in the first 10 holes, closed with a 69 for a total of 275, the same finishing score as Northern Irishman McIlroy who, like the American, birdied the last for a round of 68.

"It feels great," 103-ranked Larrazabal told the European Tour website (

"Only me and my team know how much we've worked during the last three years."

Larrazabal started the day three off the lead, but after two early birdies he fell off the pace with a bogey at the fifth.


A wonderful chip from a bunker set the 30-year-old up for a birdie at the eighth, and he sunk a six-foot putt at the 11th, placing him in a strong position when Mickelson faltered.   Continued...

Pablo Larrazabal of Spain tees off on the fourth hole during the second round of the Nordea Masters golf tournament at the Bro Hof golf club north of Stockholm May 31, 2013, in this picture provided by Scanpix. REUTERS/Jonas Ekstromer/Scanpix