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Golf Today > Tour Schedules > 2009 > European Tour > Abu Dhabi Golf Championship > Round 4


Paul Casey clinches narrow victory

Paul Casey survived a momentary lapse of concentration coming down the stretch to win the Abu Dhabi Championship by one shot on Sunday.

The Englishman, leading by six shots at the turn, parred the closing hole to beat his playing partner Martin Kaymer of Germany and South Africa’s Louis Oosthuizen.

Casey, who also won the event in 2007, closed with a two-under-par 70 to go 21 under par for the tournament, a record which beat the previous best of 20 under par posted by American Chris DiMarco, the winner of the inauguration edition in 2006.

Defending champion Kaymer raised the prospect of a thrilling finish when he eagled the 72nd hole to match Oosthuizen’s tournament total of 20 under par but Casey held his nerve and comfortably two-putted for a par from 15 yards to seal the title.

Casey reeled off successive birdies in the opening two holes and extended his overnight lead of four shots to six when he picked up three more shots before dropping a bogey on the par-four 11th.

Back-to-back bogeys on the 13th and 14th further narrowed the gap to one shot as Oosthuizen, playing two groups behind, piled the pressure on the leader with a superb 64 which featured four birdies in each half.

Kaymer, who carded a final-round 67, kept alive his hopes of making it two in a row by making the turn at three-under-par 33 but the 24-year-old German failed to pick up any more shots before his stunning eagle on the closing hole.

“It feels great to win the title here after two years,” said Casey.

“It feels like a payoff for all of the worrying I’ve put in the past couple of months. It shows that marriage is clearly good for me,” added the 31-year-old Englishman who married American Jocelyn Hefner in December.

“After dropping a couple of shots on 13 and 14, the goal was to shoot a three under. I knew where Martin was but I didn’t know what anybody else was scorewise. So I just played my own game,” said Casey who was annoyed by a camera going off on 13.

“It was very frustrating. That was a good tee shot and an excellent second shot. It was a difficult putt but I knew the line and the camera went off right at the backswing, and I flinched,” he said.

“I left myself a long one coming back and compounded it on the 14th with another bogey. After that, I really just played for pars,” he said.

Triple major winner Padraig Harrington shot a tidy 66 to finish tied for fifth with teenager Rory McIlroy on 17 under par, one shot ahead of world number two Sergio Garica of Spain, who produced a scintillating birdie-birdie-eagle finish in his final-round 64.

Briton Colin Montgomerie closed with a 71 to share 37th place with four others on eight-under-par 280.


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