Abu Dhabi: SSP Chowrasia dropped back-to-back bogeys on the eighth and ninth holes to miss out on a chance of finishing in the top-10 at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship here on Sunday. Chowrasia, tied 13th at the end of the third round, finished with a round of two-under 70 and a total of seven-under 281 in tied 17th place.
On a crowded leaderboard, Chowrasia was just one shot behind the bunch of eight players in tied ninth place at eight-under. At the top, Jamie Donaldson collected his second European Tour title in dramatic fashion, after seeing Justin Rose hold the lead in second and third rounds.
Donaldson, who already has a berth into the Masters after being in top-50 at the end of 2012, went two clear with five birdies in his first 17 holes, but made a mess of the par five last and bogeyed. That bogey meant overnight leader Rose and Dane Thorbjrn Olesen in the final group needed a birdie at the 18th to force a play-off, but Olesens 15 foot effort slid by before World Number Five Rose lipped out from eight feet.
Chowrasia looked set for a fine finish as he birdied first, second and seventh. But bogeys on eighth and ninth messed his round. He birdied the 10th and 15th to make up but the bogey on 16th meant he stayed out of top-10.
"I am happy with the way I played overall this week. Of course the third round was the highlight, but generally the confidence is returning. I still have a slight problem with my wrist, but I am able to handle it well. This finish gives me a good feel at the start of the season and I am looking forward to Qatar and Dubai," Chowrasia said.
Thongchai Jaidee (73) and Jbe Kruger (70), who like Chowrasia, also play on Asian tour, were tied for ninth. The winner Donaldson was ecstatic.
"It's pretty surreal really, I've played really good all week although Ive got away with murder up the last," he said. I thought one of them would hole if not both, but when both putts slipped by it was my week. Im very happy to be stood here holding the trophy."
Donaldsons victory at the Irish Open last year was his first in 255 European Tour events, but it has taken him only 14 starts to double his trophy haul. Donaldson trailing by two after three rounds, opened with a birdie on first and closed the gap to one, but Rose birdied the third and it was once again two shots.
Donaldson parred the next seven but Rose dropped a bogey on fifth. Donaldsons birdie on ninth meant the duo was in shared lead at the turn. When Rose birdied 10th and 12th but dropped a bogey on 11th and Donaldson birdied the 11th, they were still in shared lead. It stayed like that after both birdied the 14th, but when Donaldson birdied 15th and Rose bogeyed the 16th, the lead was two shot for the Welshman.
Donaldson, playing in second last group, opened the door for Rose with a bogey on 18th, but Rose managed only a par on last. In fact even Thorbjorn Olesen, who had turned in even par, had come to 13-under and needed a birdie on 18th to force a play-off. But he too missed his birdie putt to hand Donaldson the trophy.
Rose in his last trip to the Middle East in November was second behind Rory McIlroy in Dubai. And now he was tied second with Olesen. Rose's fellow Englishman David Howell, 258th in the world, charged into the lead with five birdies in the first ten holes. But then the former Ryder Cup star bogeyed the short 12th, and on the next he splashed out of sand to four feet and, incredibly, four-putted from there for a triple bogey seven. He had to be content with a tie for sixth place.
More from this Section
July 2, 2015, 12:04 am IST
July 1, 2015, 11:55 pm IST
July 1, 2015, 11:40 pm IST
July 1, 2015, 11:29 pm IST