Fleetwood Successfully Defends Abu Dhabi Title

Tommy Fleetwood

Tommy Fleetwood fired a final-round 7-under 65 to successfully defend his Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship by two shots over fellow Englishman Ross Fisher.

The 27-year-old burgeoning star finished with a single blemish against eight birdies, highlighted by six on his home-nine, en route to a 22-under-par-total.

Fleetwood started the day two off the lead, and when Fisher turned at 32, the Race to Dubai champion found himself five shots back with nine to play.

However, Fleetwood began home with a birdie on No. 10, and when coupled with a bogey by Fisher, the momentum swing was clearly in the air. The defending champ was down just three with eight remaining.

Starting on No. 12, Fleetwood reeled off four birdies on his next five holes (12-16), while Fisher finished the same stretch at even-par, producing a four-shot swing and a one-shot lead for the Southport, England native.

A final birdie on 18 gave Fleetwood a two-shot cushion, and when Fisher failed to eagle, it was a two-shot victory.

“It was pretty good on that back nine really. I think at the turn, it was just a few shots – the up-and-down on ten, the up-and-down on 11, 13, got a bit lucky with the tee shot,” said Fleetwood, who, with the win, moves into the top 10 in the world rankings.

“When putts were going in like 15 and 16, you just feel like, could this be my day again. Then 18, I mean, forget the second shot, the up-and-down was one of the best up-and-downs I ever made. So happy days.”

Fisher, who began the day with a share of the lead with Thomas Pieters, finished with a 3-under 69, and a four-round score of 20 under, good for solo-second.

Matt Fitzpatrick followed up Saturday’s 63 with a 69 to sit T3, alongside Rory McIlroy (70), at 18-under par.


TOP 10: FINAL ROUND

1 Tommy Fleetwood -22
2 Ross Fisher -20
3 Rory McIlroy -18
3 Matthew Fitzpatrick -18
5 Chris Paisley -17
5 Thomas Pieters -17
7 Alexander Levy -16
8 Henrik Stenson -15
9 Paul Casey -14
9 Fabrizio Zanotti -14
9 Dustin Johnson -14
9 Andrew Johnston -14
9 Thomas Detry -14


VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS


QUOTABLE

“I holed the putts on the back nine, 10, 12, 13, 15, 16, the up-and-down on 18. I was just in the moment and seeing the shots.”
– Tommy Fleetwood


Credits: European Tour Media, Getty Images


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