Fleetwood wins in style; Dunne finishes in the pack
 Tommy Fleetwood. Picture: Getty Images

Tommy Fleetwood. Picture: Getty Images

Paul Dunne had to settle for winnings of just €14,655 as he added a 77 to his third round 73 to finish 39th behind England’s Tommy Fleetwood in the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

Just two shots off the lead at halfway following opening rounds of 68 and 66, the Greystones man felt he might have a chance to win if he could play at the same level over the weekend.

He didn’t manage that in the end, making just one birdie in each of his last two rounds to finish back in the pack on four under par.

While he made just two bogeys in round three, Dunne made six on Sunday to turn a promising week into a somewhat disappointing one in terms of the final result.

Like all golfers, he will take the positives from his excellent opening rounds and regroup for his next start, which comes immediately in the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters in Doha, where he is joined by Portrush's Graeme McDowell.

Fleetwood will also tee it up in Qatar, fresh from holding off the likes of US Open champion Dustin Johnson and 2014 winner Pablo Larrazábal to win his second European Tour title.

The Englishman’s birdie on the par five closing hole proved decisive, sealing a final round of 67 and a winning total of 17 under par. 

That was beyond the reach of Spaniard Larrazábal, who birdied the last for a round of 68 to finish one shot short, and American Johnson who eagled the 18th to also sign for a 68 and a 16 under par total.

Germany’s Martin Kaymer, the three-time champion who had set the pace for much of the final round, dropped two shots in four holes on the back nine but also finished with an eagle in a round of 69 to share fourth place on 15 under par alongside Austrian Bernd Wiesberger (68) and Thailand’s Kiradech Aphibarnrat (69).

After a level par front nine, Fleetwood’s challenge was enhanced by a chip-in eagle on the tenth and he followed that with birdies on the 11th, 16th and 18th holes. 

That latter birdie earned the 26 year old his first win since his maiden European Tour title at the 2013 Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles. 

It also moves him to the top of the early season Race to Dubai Rankings presented by Rolex following a top three finish in the UBS Hong Kong Open before Christmas.

Tommy Fleetwood

“I thought maybe my second win would come sooner to be honest. It’s been a massive comeback. I made it up to Ian, who has been caddying for me, who is one of my best mates. We made the switch and not a lot of people thought it would work, and we have proved them all wrong. It feels great.
“On 18 I got a good break. It took me a few drops to get the perfect spot but I just had a go at it. You've got to take those chances if you want to win. To be honest, that was easier than the four foot putt to win in the end.
“I had a really good hard time from July 2015 to July last year where I really struggled with my game. It's been an awkward curve. The only thing left was let's get a win, but I kept thinking you keep knocking on the door, it would come. I didn't really think it would be this week. Just shows a lot can happen in golf.”

Dustin Johnson 

“It was a pretty good week. Obviously I got off to a rough start the first day. I didn't play very well. I wasn't feeling that great the first day. But then obviously I came back and played well Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
“I'm happy with the golf game. It's going to keep getting better.  I'm happy with the way I played and the way I finished. I made a really bad bogey there on the par three 15th but other than that, it was a pretty solid day. I didn't really make any putts until the last hole."

Pablo Larrazábal

“I didn’t play my best today but I tried my best and never gave up. I holed a few big putts and chipped in which was great but four bogeys on Sunday afternoon is not good enough and that was what killed me. I had so much fun out there though and I am proud of the way that I kept fighting today even though I didn’t play my best stuff. It’s a great start to the season and I want to keep working hard to keep improving and give myself more chances to win big tournaments like this one.”

Complete final scores

271 T Fleetwood  (Eng) 67 67 70 67,

272 D Johnson (USA) 72 68 64 68, P Larrazábal (Esp) 68 67 69 68,

273 M Kaymer (Ger) 66 66 72 69, K Aphibarnrat (Tha) 66 68 70 69, B Wiesberger  (Aut) 68 69 68 68,

274 D Burmester (RSA) 69 70 66 69,

275 P Hanson (Swe) 68 69 68 70, L Westwood (Eng) 68 69 69 69, H Stenson (Swe) 64 71 71 69,

276 J Wang (Kor) 68 67 70 71,

277 M Kieffer (Ger) 70 67 69 71,

278 B An (Kor) 69 69 67 73, T Aiken (RSA) 71 70 69 68, B Grace  (RSA) 68 70 69 71, T Hatton (Eng) 67 68 68 75, A Noren  (Swe) 71 67 68 72, A Björk (Swe) 69 72 67 70,

280 R Fisher (Eng) 69 69 68 74, B Dredge (Wal) 68 69 70 73, R Cabrera Bello (Esp) 67 66 74 73, R Fox (Nzl) 69 71 69 71,

281 T Bjørn (Den) 68 70 74 69, C Hanson (Eng) 71 66 72 72, J Van Zyl (RSA) 71 71 67 72, R Gouveia (Por) 72 69 67 73, O Fisher  (Eng) 66 72 70 73, C Shinkwin (Eng) 68 74 65 74,

282 J Donaldson (Wal) 70 71 72 69, J Luiten (Ned) 72 70 70 70, B Hebert  (Fra) 71 67 73 71, C Paisley  (Eng) 71 65 73 73, T Olesen (Den) 69 70 71 72, M Carlsson  (Swe) 74 66 74 68, D Horsey (Eng) 71 69 71 71,

283 R Fowler  (USA) 72 68 71 72, N Elvira  (Esp) 70 71 71 71, S Jamieson  (Sco) 71 70 68 74,

284 J Scrivener (Aus) 68 70 75 71, Paul Dunne (Irl) 68 66 73 77, J Campillo (Esp) 72 70 70 72, I Poulter (Eng) 69 72 69 74, M Manassero (Ita) 73 67 73 71, A Wall (Eng) 69 70 76 69, J Carlsson (Swe) 72 70 70 72, J Smith (Eng) 68 70 76 70, D Lipsky (USA) 68 72 72 72, R Langasque  (Fra) 71 70 72 71,

285 D Brooks (Eng) 73 66 76 70, A Quiros  (Esp) 70 70 70 75, P Uihlein  (USA) 70 67 76 72, M Warren (Sco) 66 72 71 76, G Stal  (Fra) 69 69 75 72, D Im (USA) 70 71 72 72, J Quesne  (Fra) 67 75 73 70, C Luck (am) (Aus) 72 65 74 74,

286 R Ramsay  (Sco) 69 72 71 74, M Lorenzo-Vera  (Fra) 73 69 70 74, D Drysdale (Sco) 70 69 73 74,

287 S Brazel (Aus) 71 65 72 79, G Bourdy (Fra) 72 70 71 74, G Coetzee (RSA) 70 69 73 75, A Cañizares  (Esp) 72 68 72 75, M Korhonen (Fin) 68 72 73 74, E De La Riva  (Esp) 72 70 70 75,

288 L Bjerregaard  (Den) 73 69 70 76, A Dodt (Aus) 75 66 76 71, R Wattel  (Fra) 72 68 75 73,

289 L Slattery (Eng) 68 71 70 80,

290 R Karlsson (Swe) 70 70 71 79, S Chawrasia (Ind) 68 74 77 71, A Otaegui  (Esp) 72 70 70 78,

291 A Sullivan (Eng) 70 70 72 79.