The 2017 Dubai Desert Classic was apparently Sergio Garcia’s to lose all along. Garcia took the lead from the opening round and never looked back, clinching the tournament for the first time, after never finishing in the Top 10 in his seven other appearances. He finished three strokes ahead of Henrik Stenson, the current top-ranked European golfer, with a score of 19-under 269.
The Desert Classic marked Garcia’s first European Tour victory since 2014 when he won the Qatar Masters, and 12th victory on the tour overall. Only five others have won the Dubai tournament while leading throughout and Garcia also became the sixth Spaniard to win it. This win is expected to lift Garcia up to the ninth spot in the World Golf Rankings (No. 15 as of Jan. 29, 2017).
Cross winds did not seem to bother Garcia who began his final day with a birdie, pushing his lead to four shots, and saved par on the eighth hole following a tee shot that strayed into the desert. A big birdie on the ninth hole ensured that his lead stayed at four shots.
Stenson made a late charge with three birdies on the first five of the final nine holes, which cut Garcia’s lead down to two shots by the 15th. Garcia perhaps saved his day with a fantastic tee shot on the 15th that ended with a birdie. Stenson kept it relatively close and tough until the end, but Garcia ended the day with the trophy in his hands and had this to say about the win:
Nobody can go without missing a shot but this week was definitely a week where I felt very comfortable with my game. I felt like I was in good control of what I wanted to do with my ball flight and stuff. So I guess it showed up.”
Check out these awesome highlights from the champ’s winning round:
— The European Tour (@EuropeanTour) February 5, 2017
The European Tour now swings over to the Maybank Championship in Kuala Lumpur (Feb. 9th – 12th).