Saturday, May 26, 2018

Pablo Larrazabal wins in Abu Dhabi

ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates — Spain's Pablo Larrazabal shot a final-round 67 to end a nearly three-year winless drought and capture the Abu Dhabi HSBC Champion­ship on Sunday.

Larrazabal, 30, won by a stroke at 14-under 274 on the National Course in the PGA Europe event in the UAE capital.

Rory McIlroy (68), who had incurred a two-stroke penalty a day earlier, finished with a share of second place with Phil Mickleson (69) at 13 under.

"It means a lot to win my third victory on tour and playing against who I played," Larrazabal said.

"Of course, I play against myself, but I knew who I also had behind me in Mickelson. I have just beaten two of the three most talented guys in my era, and in the last era as well, in Phil Mickelson and Rory."

Mickelson was left counting the cost of incurring a shot penalty after a double hit while playing from brush on the 13th hole of the National course.

The British Open champ, who was leading at the time, finished the hole with triple-bogey 7.

"I was sitting at the presentation ceremony and I said to myself: 'Pablo? What are you doing here?' I've got Rory McIlroy on my left and I am shaking the hand of Phil Mickelson on my right. It's very special for me," Larrazabal said after collecting the trophy.

"But it's been a long journey and a lot of work since my last win in Munich, and only my team and my family know how hard I have worked for this victory with no holidays, and not too many days off this winter, just working hard to arrive here properly and in form to Abu Dhabi. So, yes, happy days."

PGA: After shooting three straight 9-under 63s to open a seven-stroke lead, Patrick Reed had 1-under 71 in the final round to beat Ryan Palmer by two strokes at the Humana Challenge in La Quinta, Calif. Reed ran in an 18-footer for birdie on the par-3 15th to push his lead to three strokes and parred the final three holes. He completed the wire-to-wire victory at 28-under 260.

CHAMPIONS: Bernhard Langer birdied five of the last six holes for a final-round 8-under 64 and a three-stroke win at the season-opening Mitsubishi Electric Championship at Hualalai in Kaupulehu-Kona, Hawaii. Jeff Sluman (65) and Fred Couples (67) tied for second behind Langer, who finished at 22-under 194.