Sensational back nine gives Tommy Fleetwood victory in Abu Dhabi

Lynette Rowe
January 23, 2018

McIlroy commented: "What Tommy has done is just incredible. So keeping hold of it for another year is also very nice". "He's a great addition to the world of golf and will be a great addition to Europe's Ryder Cup team".

"You have to take into account the strength of the field as well, with the world No 1 and a load more top-ranked players here".

His form has also been praised by world number one Dustin Johnson and Rory McIlroy who were the 27-year-old's playing partners for the first two rounds.

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"You just never know how you're going to come back after winter, and I just felt really good this week". I was close a year ago in South Africa, Stormy (Graeme Storm) beat me in a play-off.

Fleetwood, 28, seemed overwhelmed by his victory.

Fleetwood excelled in hard conditions, carding six birdies over the closing nine holes and drew praise from McIlroy, who simply said: "That was obscene".

"To hole all those putts and keep me in the top five is great".

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"So all in all, it was another great round and another really good confidence builder - not just for this week but for the rest of the season, as well".

"The challenge is to build on that, and I've made the ideal start". "When putts are going in like they did on 15 and 16 you just think 'could this be my day at again?' The up and down at 18 was one of the best I've ever made". Fleetwood was impressed with the four-time major champion's ability to shake of the rust.

His victory comes also just a fortnight after finishing runner-up to World No. 1 Dustin Johnson in the Sentry Tournament of Champions and is the Spaniard's second success in three events after brilliantly storming home on the final day to win the European Tour's season-ending DP World Tour Championship late previous year.

A run of four pars followed with the fatal error coming at the 15th with a second bogey of the day.

Rory McIlroy finished at 18 under par and in joint third place after a final round two under par 70.

Fleetwood's victory could put him in the top 10 of the world rankings for the first time when the new list is published today. I had the year of my life last year. He certainly knows how to celebrate.

He said: "Hats off to Tommy. I've got a lot out of it and I'm excited to get at it next week". "He's gone out there and shot 65 and he's won it, so all credit to him", said Fisher.

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