Hatton outshines McIlroy to lift Abu Dhabi Golf C'ship title
Jan 26 2021
Rory McIlroy needs to get his spark back after poor finish to Abu Dhabi Golf Championship.
The four-time major victor stormed back into the lead of the tournament on day three to set up a finale that will see him duel with Tyrrell Hatton and Tommy Fleetwood for glory. Will be obviously one shot back which isn't ideal, but a lot can happen in 18 holes'.
"I was in my own little world", said Scrivener, still shaking his head in near-disbelief after his incredible run from the 10th hole of eagle, par, birdie, par, birdie, birdie, birdie, par, birdie.
Bhullar, who was even par after 12 holes when play was suspended on Friday night, did not drop a shot over last six holes, but was also unable to birdie any and stayed at par.
Hatton's only blemish was a bogey on the third hole.
"I got off to a good start then made a few soft bogeys (at the third, fourth and seventh holes) but my caddie and I just kept plugging away, just stuck with it and shot 29 on the back, which was pretty nice!"
Ulsterman McIlroy, who was third after slumping to a 72 to end on 275, is set to be displaced by Hatton as world No. 6 today. Dual Abu DhabiHSBC Championship victor Tommy Fleetwood is a shot further back.
Should he triumph, it would be a first victory for McIlroy since the WGC-HSBC Champions in November 2019, which would be long overdue after a hard 2020 for the four-time Major champion.
Northern Ireland's McIlroy made a single birdie on the 17th in his remaining four holes to complete the trio in a tie for third, three shots off the lead.
"I just felt like I had nothing really go my way", Hatton said of his 71. Hit a few decent shots and then quite a few putts lipped out or burned the edge. "Coming back in this morning I didn't finish my (second) round that well but I didn't do much wrong", admitted Hatton.
Englishmen Tommy Fleetwood, Chris Paisley and Matt Wallace ended the championship in joint sixth on 10 under alongside Paraguay's Fabrizio Zanotti, one shot behind Scotland's Marc Warren and David Lipsky of the United States. He rolled in a putt on the 12th from almost 50 feet.
'I feel like my mid-range putts were really doing well, Im said.
His problems began when he three-putted the short fourth, then bogeyed the par-five eighth to fall behind after Hatton had drawn level with a two at the unsafe par-three sixth. Just happy to be in contention again'.
The pair are at 13-under-par, two shots ahead of overnight leader Retief Goosen, with Clarke aiming to win his second event on the senior tour after claiming November's TimberTech Championship.