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Donaldson rallies past Rose for win

ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates — Jamie Donaldson won the Abu Dhabi Championship by one shot Sunday, with Justin Rose narrowly missing a birdie putt on the 18th that would have forced a playoff.

Rose's 8-foot putt rimmed out of the hole, giving the Welshman his second European Tour victory. He shot 68 to finish at 14-under 274.

Rose (71) threw his club in the air in frustration while Donaldson flashed a relieved smile. Rose tied for second with Denmark's Thorbjorn Olesen (69), who also failed to force a playoff on the 18th when his 15-foot birdie putt rolled past the hole. Olesen, playing with Rose, had putted first.

"It was a tough field, brutal golf course," said Donaldson, whose win moves him in into the world top 30 rankings.

It was fifth-ranked Rose's tournament to lose. The Englishman, who had a two-shot lead over Donaldson and Olesen entering Sunday, led all week, hitting greens and making timely putts. But he was shaky from the start in the final round, scrambling early to save pars, then hitting errant drives on Nos. 5, 11 and 16 that led to bogeys while finding it difficult to read the greens.

"It was definitely hard work," Rose said. "You want to close out with a chance to win when you have it, and I didn't do that (Sunday). But I didn't do a lot wrong, either."

The 47th-ranked Donaldson won his first tournament last year in his 266th European Tour event.

After Rose hit a drive into the trees for a bogey on No. 16, then missed a 12-foot birdie putt on the 17th, Donaldson appeared in control. But Donaldson didn't make it easy for himself. He missed a long birdie putt on the final hole, then a 5-foot putt for par, settling for bogey.

PGA: Brian Gay won the Humana Challenge in La Quinta, Calif., for his fourth tour title, beating Charles Howell III with a 51/2-foot birdie putt on the second hole of a playoff.

Gay closed with 9-under 63 on PGA West's Arnold Palmer Private Course to match Howell and Swedish rookie David Lingmerth at 25-under 263.

Howell shot 64 and Lingmerth 62. Scott Stallings, five strokes ahead entering the round, bogeyed the final hole for 70 to miss the playoff by a stroke.

Gay and Howell opened the playoff with birdies on the par-5 18th, and Lingmerth dropped out with bogey after hitting his approach into the left-side water. Gay won on the par-4 10th.

Donaldson rallies past Rose for win 01/21/13 [Last modified: Sunday, January 20, 2013 11:34pm]
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