Larrazabal gets one-shot win in Abu Dhabi

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Spain’s Pablo Larrazabal has ended his title drought on the European Tour by holding off Phil Mickelson and Rory McIlroy to win the $US2.


7 million ($A3.1 million) Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship by one shot.

At the Abu Dhabi Golf Club course on Sunday, the 30-year-old from Barcelona shot a final-round 67 to finish on 14-under par 274, while world number five Mickelson (69) and number seven McIlroy (68) were tied second at 275.

While Larrazabal was solid throughout the day, barring a bogey on the fifth hole, the tournament turned around massively in his favour when Mickelson made a mess of the 13th hole, where he hit the ball twice trying to come out from under a bush playing a right-handed shot.

Mickelson ended up with a triple bogey and from leading the tournament at 13-under par he dropped down the leaderboard, and even three birdies after that could not help him overtake Larrazabal.

McIlroy was left ruing the two-shot penalty that was imposed on him for not taking full relief from a spectators’ crossway in the third round Saturday.

South African George Coetzee (66) and Spain’s Rafael Cabrera-Bello (68) were tied for fourth place at 12-under par 276.

Larrazabal said: “It just feels unbelievable. I’ve been working so hard for the last two years and this winter. They always say that the hard work pays off, but it’s hard to believe it.

“Today has been very special, to fight against Rory and Phil, top-five players in the world, both of them. It’s been a great fight.”

A disappointed McIlroy said: “I feel like I’m standing here and I should be 15-under par for the tournament and win by one. But that’s the way it goes.

“I played the least shots of anyone this week. So, I mean, I can count it as a moral victory more than anything else.

“It’s frustrating. I’ve played well the whole week. It’s a very positive start to the season so I’m not going to let one little negative ruin that.”

For Larrazabal this was his third European Tour title, his previous wins coming in 2008 and 2011.

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