Dubai, Jan 30 (Golf News) Viktor Hovland rallied from a six-shot deficit to get into a play-off and win the Dubai Desert Classic in rather dramatic fashion at the Emirates Golf Club here on Sunday.
The 24-year-old Norwegian youngster, who has now on three times in his last five starts had a birdie-eagle-birdie finish to end up at 12-under and the waited for the others, including Rory McIlroy to finish, even as the 48-year-old Englishman Richard Bland finished birdie-birdie to get to 12-under.
McIlroy needing a birdie to win outright had just saved par with two great shots on 17th, but on the 18th, going for the green in two, he found water. The resultant bogey dropped McIlroy to 11-under and out of the play-off.
In the play-off, Bland going for the green in two found himself in a divot and coming out of it, he left himself a birdie putt that just missed out. Hovland with a two-putt for a win made no mistake and added a second European Tour win to go with four others on the PGA Tour.
India’s Shubhankar Sharma after 72-72 on first two days, ended with 76-76 on last two days. The final round had two double bogeys besides three bogeys and three birdies for a 76 and ended T-75 a week after finishing second at Abu Dhabi.
As Bland finished second, McIlroy was left stranded third. Five players including Justin Harding, the overnight leader, Tyrrell Hatton, Sam Horsfield, Adrian Meronk and Erik Van Rooyen were Tied-fifth.
Hovland becomes the first Norwegian to win a Rolex Series event and adds this title to his maiden DP World Tour victory at the 2021 BMW International Open.
It is his third win in five starts after back-to-back victories in November and December at the World Wide Technology Championship at Mayakoba and Hero World Challenge, and could move him up to third in the Official World Golf Ranking.
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News Source : PTI