Fair play to Dan, says Sullivan

Fair play to Dan, says Sullivan
Andy Sullivan

Dubai - "Fair play to Dan, holing that putt, that was a tough putt. That was a tough putt," said Sullivan.

By James Jose

Published: Sun 7 Feb 2016, 6:11 PM

Last updated: Sun 7 Feb 2016, 8:14 PM

Andy Sullivan gave it his all but it just wasn't quite enough in the end. The Englishman had done his bit by finishing tied for the lead after his round. But his countryman Danny Willett held his nerve to just about nudge ahead to win the Omega Dubai Desert Classic at the Majlis Course on Sunday.
Sullivan struck a four-under on the day to end up with 18-under for the tournament, just a shot behind the winner. Sullivan, who had started the day on 14-under, finished tied second along with 2012 Desert Classic winner Spaniard Rafa Cabrera-Bello.
Sullivan gave credit to Willett after the latter had come up with a tough birdie putt on the last hole and said that, in hindsight, he could have upped his game during the middle segment of his round.
"Fair play to Dan, holing that putt, that was a tough putt. That was a tough putt," said Sullivan.
"I didn't feel like I put him under enough pressure through the midpoint of the round. I had a lot of chances and didn't quite take them. The putts towards the end kept me in it, par saves, and you hole that putt on the last, you feel you gave yourself a sneaky chance. But Dan is a quality player and you expect him to step up, and he did. Fair play to him," he added.
The 28-year-old who had a stellar season last year, notching all his three wins on the European Tour - the South African Open Championship, The Johannesburg Open as well as the Portugal Masters, said that a few poor drives had made it difficult for him.
"The driver demons came back, started hitting a few poor drives, but like I said, the putter caught me out. After nine holes, I said, it's going too quickly, enjoying myself too much. You just literally want to wrap that stuff up and bottle it. It was fantastic, the adrenaline, the emotions, going through it, it was good fun. And it bodes well for the rest of the year," Sullivan said.
Meanwhile, Rafa Cabrera-Bello admitted that he was disappointed not to have added a second Desert Classic to his collection but felt that going by his game, a title was just round the corner.
"Obviously, overall very happy, and second again, it's a great position. It's been a fantastic tournament. I played really good and I'm proud of myself. Obviously, disappointed I didn't get to win but I know playing like this, it's around the corner," said Cabrera-Bello.
Like Sullivan, Cabrera-Bello too kept at it on Willett by making consecutive birdies on the 17th and 18th. But the Spaniard said that Willett was just better on the day.
"I knew the back nine was going to be very important. Obviously, getting off to a strong start would have been ideal. That didn't happen, so I just stayed patient, bogeyed 6, a little unlucky. My ball ended up in a divot after a good drive, but any ways, just fought back all day long and played aggressive. I know that coming down the stretch, I could make some birdies and that's what I did. I tried my best and Danny was one shot better today," he said.

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