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Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 20 September 2018

Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship: Round 4 live updates - Tommy Fleetwood beats Ross Fisher to retainΒ title

Coverage of the final round action at Abu Dhabi Golf Club as Fleetwood becomes only second player to win the event two years in a row.

Tommy Fleetwood leads the HSBC Abu Dhabi Championship. Ross Kinnaird / Getty Images
Tommy Fleetwood leads the HSBC Abu Dhabi Championship. Ross Kinnaird / Getty Images

6.05pm As ever, the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, presented by EGA, welcomed the finest golfers on the planet, and once again Tommy Fleetwood rose above them all to win the title.

Fleetwood, whose remarkable 2017 season was kickstarted by victory in the UAE capital, is again off to a flyer this year. Fresh from helping Europe win the EurAsia Cup, the Englishman retained the Falcon Trophy after a blistering back nine in his final round.

Reaching the turn at one-under for the day and still within touching distance of leader Ross Fisher, Fleetwood, 27, shot six-under on the back nine to take an unassailable lead. He ended the tournament 22-under par, two shots clear of Fisher.

Victory ensured Fleetwood became just the second player to retain the Abu Dhabi title, after Martin Kaymer in 2011. The Race to Dubai winner is expected to move up to No 10 in the world rankings.

Fleetwood's finish provided a fitting finale for another thrilling Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, which has established itself as the flagship European Tour event in the Middle East.

That is all from us from the 2018 tournament. See you all again in 2019.

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5.30pm He only had to part with it for four days but Tommy Fleetwood has been reunited with the Falcon Trophy as he is crowned the winner of the 2018 Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, presented by EGA.

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5.15pm We are now at the presentation time as Tommy Fleetwood prepares to receive the Falcon Trophy for the second year as winner of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, presented by EGA.

He is the third player, after Paul Casey and Martin Kaymer, to win the event multiple times.

It was an impressive feat considering he had to hit a 65, his best round of the week to come out on top.

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5pm Tommy Fleetwood had to watch the closing stages in the clubhouse having been two pairings ahead of nearest rival Ross Fisher.

Fisher had needed an eagle on the last to force a play-off but he could on par the hole to finish on -20, two behind Fleetwood.

Matthew Fitzpatrick and Rory McIlroy are tied for third on -18 and a bogey on the 18th drops Thomas Pieters back to a share of fifth place with Chris Paisley.

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4.50pm Tommy Fleetwood has done it. He is the 2018 Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship winner. Ross Fisher fails to eagle the 18th hole and it means that Fleetwood cannot be caught.

Fleetwood is the second player after Martin Kaymer to win the title in successive years.

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4.45pm Rory McIlroy is in the clubhouse and the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship has again escaped the Northern Irishman's grasp for another year.

He finishes on 18 under after carding a final round 70 and he is in a tie for third at present with Matthew Fitzpatrick and Thomas Pieters.

Ross Fisher is now on the 18th hole needing an eagle on the par-five hole to force a play-off and prevent Tommy Fleetwood winning.

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4.40pm The title-winning moment for 2018 at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship may have just happened. Tommy Fleetwood holds his nerve on the 18th to hole his birdie putt and move to -22.

That leaves him two clear of Ross Fisher, who only has the 18th to play himself. It will take a big effort from Fisher now to prevent Fleetwood from becoming the second player to successfully defend the Abu Dhabi title.

Fisher must eagle the hole to force a play-off.

Fleetwood's 65 was the best of his four rounds and included eight birdies and one bogey. He went out in 35, but came back in 30 with five birdies.

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4.30pm Ross Fisher is not done yet. A birdie at the 16th gets him back to -20 and he is now one shot behind Tommy Fleetwood with two holes to play.

Fleetwood is on the 18th at present as he completes his round.

It is realistically between these two now for the title with Thomas Pieters three shots off Fleetwood on -18, while a bogey on the 17th has ended once and for all Rory McIlroy's hopes as he falls back to -17.

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4.20pm Tommy Fleetwood has one hole left to play and he goes into it leading the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship by two shots.

He has birdied the 18th every day so far in the tournament and another one here would you feel seal his second successive Abu Dhabi title.

He leads on -21, with Ross Fisher on -19 with three still to play, and Rory McIlroy and Thomas Pieters both on -18.

World No 1 Dustin Johnson is in the clubhouse on -14 after a final round 70 completed the American's week.

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4.10pm If it was advantage for Tommy Fleetwood before it could well now be match point for the Englishman as he is now two ahead at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

Ross Fisher has bogied the 15th and now faces a huge ask to prevent his English compatriot from winning the title for a second successive year.

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4.05pm Advantage Tommy Fleetwood. A fourth birdie in five holes comes at the 16th and the Englishman is now leading outright for the first time since Thursday on -21.

He has only two holes to play, while nearest challenger Ross Fisher, who is on -20, has four holes still to complete.

Rory McIlroy looks as if he is going to yet again miss out on the Abu Dhabi title as he stands on -18, three shots behind Fleetwood.

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3.50pm We are getting up towards the closing stages of the 13th staging of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship and it is still all to play for.

Defending champion Tommy Fleetwood has just birdied the 15th hole to go to -20 and go level with Ross Fisher at the top of the leaderboard.

Fleetwood is aiming to be only the second person, after Martin Kaymer, to successfully retain the title.

Rory McIlroy is two shots adrift on -18 and with four holes remaining is running out of time if he is to finally win in Abu Dhabi for the first time.

Tommy Fleetwood has birdied the 15th hole to go to -20. Kamran Jebreili / AP Photo
Tommy Fleetwood has birdied the 15th hole to go to -20. Kamran Jebreili / AP Photo

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3.16pm Henrik Stenson is the clubhouse leader after shooting a final round 65 - the lowest score of the day so far.

The Swede - the only player to play in all 13 editions of the tournament - shot seven birdies in his bogey-free round to finish on 15-under par.

It is unlikely to be enough to win the tournament, but it was another strong showing from the former British Open champion.

Henrik Stenson of Sweden, right, and Tyrrell Hatton of England look on from the second tee during the final round of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship. Andrew Redington/Getty Images
Henrik Stenson of Sweden, right, and Tyrrell Hatton of England look on from the second tee during the final round of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship. Andrew Redington/Getty Images

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2.55pm Boasting a three-shot lead as we had down the back nine, take a look at the highlights of Abu DHbai HSBC Championship leader Ross Fisher's front nine from Saturday.

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2.47pm With the final group through nine holes here's how things currently stand:

  • Fisher -21
  • McIlroy -18
  • Pieters -17
  • Fitzpatrick -16
  • Fleetwood -16

Can anyone stop Fisher?

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2.36pm Contrasting fortunes for Tommy Fleetwood and Rory McIlroy. Fleetwood, the defending champion here in Abu Dhabi, misses a short putt for birdie on the 8th after a fine approach shot, while McIlroy moves to within three shots of leader Ross Fisher with a birdie.

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1.40pm Rory McIlroy is on the charge. He has just birdied the fourth to go to -18 and join Thomas Pieters in being one shot behind Ross Fisher.

There are plenty of low scoring in the early stages. Henrik Stenson will be one man regretting the tournament ends today. He is four under after 10 and the Swede has moved upto joint 13th, still seven shots behind Fisher.

Dustin Johnson's title hopes appear to be over though. Bogies at the first and fifth have dropped him back to -10 after seven holes.

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1.30pm Ross Fisher has taken the outright lead at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship after an eagle on the par-5 second moves the Englishman to 19-under par, with Thomas Pieters one shot behind after a birdie on the same hole.

Rory McIlroy sunk a monster putt on the same hole to keep within touching distance at 17-under while Matthew Fitzpatrick has just birdied the fourth to move to 16-under.

Successive birdies for Tommy Fleetwood on 2 and 3 keeps the defending champion in the hunt.

We could be in for a rollercoaster afternoon

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1pm Everyone is now on the National Course as the real business of the final day of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship gets going.

Englishman Chris Paisley has birdied the second hole to move to -15 for the tournament, just two shots behind leaders Thomas Pieters and Ross Fisher.

South Africans Branden Grace and Dylan Frittelli have both also picked up early birdies to move up to -14 and the top 10 players are covered by three shots.

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12.20pm It is 30 minutes until Thomas Pieters and Ross Fisher, the last group to tee off at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, get their final round underway.

Frenchman Alexander Levy has birdied his first hole to move to -13 and be four shots behind Pieters and Fisher.

Ashun Wu is the form man on the course right now. The Chinese player is five under for the day after 12 holes, and -11 for the tournament.

Henrik Stenson's wait to win his first Abu Dhabi title, having competed in every tournament since 2006, is set to go on until at least 2019. But he has started his final round well with two early birdies and he is -10 after five holes.

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11.30am Conditions still look pretty good for low scoring on the final day of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship as China's Ashun Wu has gone around the first eight holes in four under to move to -10 overall.

Meanwhile, the focus remains on leaders Thomas Pieters and Ross Fisher, the joint leaders, who tee off at 12.50pm in the last group.

The tweet below offers some insight into their respective records when leading at the start of a final round, and how they have gone on to fare.

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11.10am Gary Stal, the 2015 champion, has completed his final round at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, presented by EGA, carding a 69 to complete the tournament at 4-under par.

Stal, who beat Rory McIlroy to the title three years ago, went out for his fourth round at the National course alone and ended his tournament with consecutive birdies to go with his three on the front nine. Two bogeys on 9 and 14 checked the Frenchman's progress.

Elsewhere, Justin Rose has flown out of the blocks, starting his round with back-to-back birdies to climb to 9-under par. He's some way off the lead at 17-under but a fine start for the Olympic champion.

Justin Rose has birdied the first two holes of his final round at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship. Kamran Jebrelli / AP Photo
Justin Rose has birdied the first two holes of his final round at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship. Kamran Jebrelli / AP Photo

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10.35am Europe's 2018 Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn had said before the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship that he planned to use the weekend to look at some of the prospective players he hopes to call on in September.

Those players could do with looking to Bjorn, at least so far today, for inspiration as the Dane has made a great start to his fourth round and is -4 under through seven holes to be -9 for the tournament and up to a tie for 20th place in the standings.

Matt Kuchar picked up his first birdie of the round at the fifth to move up to -6 overall.

A reminder that joint-leaders Thomas Pieters and Ross Fisher, who are both at -17, tee off in the final group at 12.50pm.

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10am Soren Kjeldsen (-5) and Rafa Cabrera Bello (-4) are faring the best of the early players on the course at present as both are three under.

Matt Kuchar is out on the course for his final round of his first Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, and the American has parred his first two holes to remain at -5, still 12 shots off the pace of leaders Thomas Pieters and Ross Fisher, who tee off in the final group at 12.50pm.

The 2013 US Open champion Justin Rose tees off shortly at 10.25am. The Englishman is -7 and he is paired with Mikko Korhonen.

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9.35am Defending champion Tommy Fleetwood starts today's final round at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, presented by EGA just two shots off the lead and in a great position to retain his title.

His victory on the National course last year triggered an incredible 2017 season for the Englishman which culminated in winning the Race to Dubai in November.

However, it's been far from a straight upward trajectory for Fleetwood, who fell to No 188 in the world rankings in September 2016 and feared he may lose his tour card.

Check out this short feature on Fleetwood to see how he turned his career around and how it all started here in Abu Dhabi.

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8.55am It is still early days here at the fourth round of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship with the opening groups beginning to thread their way around the National Course for the final time this year.

Gary Stal is clearly enjoying life by himself. Due to there being an odd number of players who made the cut he is without a playing partner from the tournament yet it does not appear to be hindering him.

The 2015 champion is -3 after eight holes and has moved himself up to -4 for the tournament and a tie for 60th place.

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8am Good morning! Here we are at the final day of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, presented by EGA.

Play has been underway since 7.19am when 2015 champion Gary Stal teed off on his own.

There will be 36 groups out on the course in all, with joint-leaders Thomas Pieters and Ross Fisher, who are -17, the last to tee off at 12.50pm from the first tee.

You can find the full list of tee times for Round 4 here.

It is a tight leaderboard with 16 players covered by five shots at the top and an unpredictable day of action is in the offing at Abu Dhabi Golf Club.

Four-time major winner Rory McIlroy has never won in Abu Dhabi, but his round of 65 on Saturday has left the Northern Irishman just one off the lead.

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Read more

Thomas Pieters and Ross Fisher happy to share friendly rivalry for Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship

Rory McIlroy glad to have 'got it out of the way now' after bogey on 15th

Matthew Fitzpatrick happy despite missing out on course record at Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship

Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship: Round 3 as it happened

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He plays alongside Matthew Fitzpatrick who had the best round on Saturday as he went around in 63.

Other players to watch out for are defending champion Tommy Fleetwood, who is on -15, along with Fitzpatrick, and world No 1 Dustin Johnson, who is on -12. Two-time Abu Dhabi champion Paul Casey is another player in the hunt at -12.

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