Donaldson claims second European title
BY Bruce Young | European PGA Tour | 2013 Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship | Wrap | 21 Jan 2013
37 year old Welshman, Jamie Donaldson, today won his second European Tour title with a one shot victory over Justin Rose and Thorbjorn Olesen at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship at the Abu Dhabi Golf Club.
Donaldson, playing in the second to last group of the day, posted a final round of 68 and watched on as both Rose and Olesen both failed to convert birdie chances at the last which would have given them an opportunity to win the title via a playoff.
Rose had led by two over Donaldson and Olesen heading into the final day but all three were passed by Englishman David Howell who birdied five of his first ten holes to take the lead. Howell then bogeyed the 12th and triple bogeyed the 13th when he four putted from five feet.
That left the door open once again for the likes of Donaldson, Rose and Olesen to contend for the title. Donaldson moved one ahead when he birdied the 14th and 15th and actually stood on the 72nd tee with a two shot lead. He bogeyed the par five last but neither Rose or Olesen could take advantage.
The victory follows Donaldson’s Irish Open win in 2012, moves him to second position in the Race to Dubai for 2013 and will see him jump significantly higher than his current 47th position in the World Ranking, perhaps inside the top 30 when revised rankings are announced later today.
Olesen further confirmed what an emerging talent he is with yet another excellent finish on the European Tour. A winner of the Sicilian Open in 2012 and a runner-up finisher at the Alfred Dunhill Links event late last year, Olesen followed up his very good 8th place finish in this event twelve months ago with an even better performance.
A double bogey at his 6th hole today would prove very costly but for the 22 year old another victory is surely not far away.
Rose led for much of the event but was unable to claim the victory. It was his second consecutive runner-up finish in the Middle East after having recorded the same result behind Rory McIlroy at the Dubai World Championship in December.
Rose will move back ahead of Louis Oosthuizen to number 4 in the world.
The leading Australian was Andrew Dodt who only just retained his full playing privileges for the European Tour in 2012. Dodt finished 17th this week, his second best European Tour finish in two years.
Marcus Fraser was 21st and Richard Green 23rd.
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