x Abu Dhabi, UAE Thursday 20 July 2017

Mixed bag for Graeme McDowell, Phil Mickelson, Retief Goosen and Martin Kaymer

The four major winners have wildly varying fortunes in Abu Dhabi Golf Championship

ABU DHABI // The trophies of golf's four major tournaments - as well as the Ryder Cup - were on display in the Championship Village this weekend, as they were kindly loaned out by their current owners.

A field that included each of the major champions, plus the world No 1 Lee Westwood, was a significant coup for the organisers of the Abu Dhabi Golf Championship. Their fortunes over the National Course differed wildly, however.

At one end of the spectrum, Kaymer, the US PGA Championship winner, continued his mastery over the Abu Dhabi tournament.

"He seems to own this golf course," said Graeme McDowell, the US Open champion, who finished 10 shots behind Kaymer's winning score of 24-under yesterday, which was good enough to tie for third with Retief Goosen.

"He would have taken some catching [even] had I been 100 per cent on my game this week.

"He is a world-class player, he'll move to No 2 now and it is great for European golf to have the No 1 and 2 in the world. I'll slip in there at No 4, which is very satisfying also."

Phil Mickelson, the US Masters champion, waged a doughty battle against the European wave. However, he was a little short of his very best, as he returned a final tally of five-under par.

Westwood's long winter-break showed as he ended 26 shots behind his Ryder Cup teammate, Kaymer. He muddled his way to a final round 73 yesterday, for a tournament aggregate of 290, two-over par.

That may have been one of the highest totals of those players who stayed for all four days, but at least he fared better than Louis Oosthuizen.

The British Open champion, who was placed second behind his fellow South African Charl Schwartzel in the Race to Dubai before the Abu Dhabi tournament started on Thursday, missed the cut.

 

pradley@thenational.ae