Hatton wins, Scrivener 2nd as McIlroy fades in Abu Dhabi
A new year and new season goals but sadly the same old disappointment for Rory McIlroy at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.
McIlroy stumbled his way to a final round 72 and a distant five shots at 13-under par behind Englishman Tyrrell Hatton.
So much for Hatton’s newfound ‘Angry Golfers’ social media image as he became Europe’s happiest golfer winning easily by four shots thanks to a closing 66 for an 18-under par tally on the National course in the Abu Dhabi capital.
Hatton, 29, captured his 10th pro career title and jumps to No. 5 in the world and two ahead of McIlroy at No. 7.
Tyrrell Hatton (Credit: European Tour)
“It’s surreal to be honest, even knocking the putt on 18 to win it doesn’t seem like I’ve won the tournament,” said Hatton.
“It’s amazing as I always love starting my season in Abu Dhabi and to know have my name added to the trophy with so many other champions before me is a huge honour.”
What’s In The Bag: Tyrrell Hatton
- Titleist Pro V1x Golf Ball
- Ping G425 LST Driver (10.5º)
- Ping G425 LST 3W (14.5º)
- Ping G425 Max 7W (20.5º)
- Ping i210 (4-PW)
- Ping Glide Forged Wedges (50º)
- Titleist Vokey Design SM8 Wedges (54º, 60º)
- Ping Vault Oslo Putter
Jason Scrivener celebrated Australia Day two days early with easily the bigger prize cheque of his pro career storming home with a 10th hole eagle and five birdies for a closing 29 and a score of 66 to grab second place on 14-under par.
“I was in my own little world with my caddie and I just kind of kept plodding away,” he said calmly. “It wasn’t a good start, made a few soft bogeys, and then just kind of stuck with it and yeah, 29 on the back, which was pretty nice.”
“I’m delighted with the start to the New Year as I have four third place results before this week, including two back in 2019, so to start a new season with a second place finish is huge.”
McIlroy was a distant third at 13-under and only one of two players finishing inside the top-10 not to break 70 over the final round.
McIlroy’s finish is now the eighth occasion in 11 Abu Dhabi appearances he’s left the UAE capital with a top-three finish.
It’s also now been 448-days and 19 events, both on the PGA and European Tour’s, since McIlroy last tasted success in the Far East.
McIlroy went into the final day of his first event of the year leading by a shot at 13-under par and then after back-to-back birdies he had elbowed his way to a two-shot lead and looked set to cruise to victory.
However, It all turned pear-shaped with his first three-putt of the week at the 4th hole and when McIlroy bogeyed the eighth after a wild drive left, it opened the door for Hatton and the Englishman needed no invitation.
McIlroy said: “I played the opening three holes well today but I felt there were a few putts today where the wind affected the ball maybe more than the last couple of days.”
“That was the case on four with the three-putt while the bogeys around the turn didn’t help as I was in good position on 10 and Tyrrell was outside of me making his putt for birdie and I missed my putt for eagle.”
“That was a huge momentum keeper for him while I bogeyed the next, and then it was just hard to get back into it.”
As for the positives he’ll take now to the US West Coast for Thursday’s starting Farmers Insurance Open he said: “I felt for the most part of the week my short-game and my putting was pretty good. I scrambled well and had some pretty good approach shots, especially last night coming down the last few holes.”
Wade Ormsby was the next best of the Australians in 12th place followed by Lucas Herbert, who fell away across the weekend after a promising 68-68 start, to finish in a share of 25th place.
Scott Hend was the last of the Aussies to make the cut at 57th with Min Woo Lee sitting out the weekend.