Shane Lowry secures thrilling win at Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship
By Ali Stafford
Last Updated: 19/01/19 6:12pm
Shane Lowry produced a stunning back-nine fightback to claim a thrilling wire-to-wire victory at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.
Lowry saw his three-shot overnight lead turn into a four-stroke deficit with seven holes to play at Abu Dhabi GC, only for the Irishman to birdie three of his last seven holes to snatch a one-shot victory.
The world No 75 carded a one-under 71 to edge ahead of playing partner Richard Sterne, who failed to find a birdie on his back nine, with Lowry's win his first since the 2015 WGC-Bridgestone Invitational.
Joost Luiten fired a round-of-the-day 65 to take third spot on 15 under ahead of Louis Oosthuizen, with Soren Kjeldsen five strokes off the pace in fifth after a three-under 69.
Beginning with a three-shot advantage, Lowry holed a 15-footer at the first to exchange birdies with Sterne, who also picked up shots over his next two holes to move into a share of the lead.
Lowry missed from eight feet to save par at the third but bounced back to birdie the next from close range, only for Sterne to pitch in from off the fifth green and move one ahead.
Sterne failed to get up-and-down from a bunker to save par at the sixth but posted back-to-back birdies from the eighth to reach the turn in 31, as Lowry bogeyed the ninth after finding water off the tee to slip three off the pace.
Both players posted pars at the 10th, where Lowry converted from 10 feet and Sterne recovered from a knifed chip from the sand to get down in two from the rough and make his five.
Lowry responded to a bogey at the next and falling four behind to roll in from eight feet at the par-three 12th and birdie the hole for a fourth consecutive round, before draining a 25-footer at the 13th to cut Sterne's advantage to two.
Sterne three-putted the 14th after finding the par-four green in two and lost his outright advantage when he failed to make his 12-footer from the fringe at the 16th, as Lowry holed a 12-footer to save par at the next to keep the pair all-square heading to the last.
As Sterne's approach at the par-five 18th found the rough on his way to a closing par, Lowry found the green in two and posted a two-putt birdie to end his three-and-a-half year winless run.