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Casey over the moon after landing Dubai Desert Classic

England’s Paul Casey emerges winner at Omega Dubai Desert Classic.— Twitter
England’s Paul Casey emerges winner at Omega Dubai Desert Classic.— Twitter

Dubai - The three-time Ryder Cup winner carded a two-under 70 on the day at the Majlis Course, to finish with a 17-under



By James Jose

Published: Sun 31 Jan 2021, 5:03 PM

Last updated: Sun 31 Jan 2021, 8:15 PM

Paul Casey said he was ‘so over the moon’ after ending his European Tour drought by landing the prestigious Omega Dubai Desert Classic on Sunday.

The Englishman, whose last victory on the European Tour came at the Porsche European Open in September 2019 in Germany, carded a two-under 70 in the final round at the Majlis Course of the Emirates Golf Club to triumph by four strokes over South African Brandon Stone.

The 43-year-old completed a ‘UAE Swing’ with the Desert Classic adding to the three-time Ryder Cup champion’s twin victories at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship in 2007 and 2009.

And it was his 15th European Tour victory in his 312th appearance and the fourth victory by an 
Englishman following Danny Willett (2016), David Howell (1999) and Mark James (1989).

His best finish in seven previous appearances at the Desert Classic was tied fourth in 2009.

The victory also vaulted him to third in the Race to Dubai with 710 points and from No.27 to No.14 in the world rankings.

Casey’s win was the 350th victory for an English player on the European Tour and the second on the 2021 Race to Dubai following Tyrrell Hatton’s victory at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship Starting the final day on 15-under, it was a mixed round for Casey as he rolled in five birdies and two bogeys. It could have been a grandstand finish for Casey as he was in with a chance for an eagle on the 18th, which he had accomplished in the third round on Saturday, but he had to settle for a birdie.

That saw Casey finish the tournament on 17-under 271 with Stone coming up with a par round to end at 13-under 275.

Scotsman Robert MacIntyre, who was one stroke behind Casey in second going into the day, couldn’t put up a fight, with his two birdies and four bogeys seeing him return with a two-over 74 for a tournament 12-under to finish third.

“I'm so over the moon,” Casey said moments after birdie putting the 18th and acknowledging the applause from the limited number of fans.

“The fact it's Dubai. It's an iconic event on The European Tour. You guys all know that. One of the coolest trophies around. I'm all emotional with wins, but with this one, this one is such a prestigious event, the history which is behind you, and I can see it from here with amazing winners, is basically a Who's Who in world golf. Dubai has given so much to golf, European Tour golf in general and across the globe. And 15 wins is pretty cool. I wanted 15. The Porsche European Tour victory in 2019 is the last, and this is 15 and this is an iconic event, so I'm so happy,” he added.

Stone, meanwhile, was proud with the way he bounced back after an average start to the week. “Obviously extremely proud of the performance I put up this week. I played some lovely golf, considering I was 2- or 3-over through five holes on Thursday. So, it's a fantastic fight back,” said Stone.

“And you know, any time you're going to be in contention here at the Emirates, it's quite special. The illustrious list of winners that have their name on the trophy is quite special. And on top of all that, I got to play with Sergio (Garcia) which is like a boyhood dream come true,” he added.

Spaniard Sergio Garcia, the 2017 winner, finished sixth, while last year’s champion Australia’s Lucas Herbert and India’s Shubhankar Sharma finished 22nd.

james@khaleejtimes.com


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