Dubai Desert Classic: Danny Willett wins, Rory McIlroy sixth

Danny Willett
Willett is ranked 20th in the world and has now won four European Tour titles
Dubai Desert Classic third-round leaderboard
-19 D Willett (Eng); -18 A Sullivan (Eng), R Cabrera-Bello (Spa); -16 A Quiros (Spa), Byeong-hun An (Kor); -15 R McIlroy (NI), H Stenson (Swe). Selected others:-14 T Hatton (Eng), C Wood (Eng); -12 E Els (SA)

England's Danny Willett birdied the final hole to win the Dubai Desert Classic by one shot from compatriot Andy Sullivan.

Overnight leader Willett, 28, putted in from 15 feet to card a final-round 69 and win his fourth European Tour title.

Sullivan went round in 68 and had to settle for joint second along with Rafa Cabrera-Bello of Spain.

Defending champion Rory McIlroy hit eight birdies in a round of 65 and tied for sixth, four shots off the top.

Willett, who lost his overnight advantage when he bogeyed the second, went three clear after three birdies in four holes from the fourth.

A bogey on the ninth and 14th allowed the chasing pack to close the gap but Willett held his nerve to secure victory in a tense finale.

The win will lift him from 20th in the world rankings to a provisional career-high of 12th depending on the result of the Phoenix Open.

Willett moved third in the Ryder Cup standings and also took a step closer to qualifying for the British Olympic team.

"I'm just ecstatic," Willett said. "You can't buy that feeling, coming down the back nine, the last three holes, in contention in a golf tournament.

"You can't pay for that experience, you've got to earn it.

"You'd love to win by five or six every time, but when you win in that fashion it does feel that little bit extra special.

"It means when the pressure is on I can produce the goods."

Top Stories