England’s Robert Rock played the game of his life holding off Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods to win Abu Dhabi Championship on Sunday. It was a nail-biting last round and only his second victory in 227 European Tour events.
When interviewed Robert said “I really can’t believe I have done that today,” after an anxious six on the last hole had given him a one-stroke victory over McIlroy.
“I was just very happy to be playing with Tiger. That’s a special honour in itself.”
While he shot a two-under-par 70 to finish 13 under, Woods scrambled his way to a 72 and instead of recording a second successive victory on the comeback trail had to settle for a share of third place with Graeme McDowell and Thomas Bjorn.
For years Rock worked in the Swingers Golf Centre in Tamworth, “selling Mars bars and watching Tiger win majors”. He was 26 before he made it onto the European Tour and 31 when he finally tasted success at last year’s Italian Open. “It’s been a steady progression and I’ve worked hard, but I didn’t think this would happen,” he said.
So many people are also talking about Kyle Stanley. Stanley started round four on the US Tour event at Torrey Pines in California with a five shot lead. Kyle Stanley led by seven shots early in the final round, and he still had a four-shot lead as he stood on the 18th tee.
Brandt Snedeker, who was playing ahead of him, had a birdie on the 18th and finished the round with a 67 as runner up. He then watched Stanley spin a wedge into the water, then three-putt from 45 feet for a triple-bogey eight and a 74. Two play-off holes later and Snedeker had snatched the win from Kyle’s hands.
“It’s just crazy,” Snedeker said. “To get my mind around what happened in the last 30 minutes is pretty hard to do right now. My heart is out to Kyle. I feel bad for him to have to go through this.”
Our last person everyone is talking about is Lydia Ko a New Zealand Amateur who has just become one of the youngest winners of a professional tour event after winning the New South Wales Open. South Korean-born Ko shot a three-under-par final round of 69 to finish 14 under beating some fantastic golfers including Laura Davies.
As an amateur, Ko had to forfeit the £12,600 prize money which went to runner-up Becky Morgan who comes from Wales.
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