Rafael Cabrera-Bello beats Lee Westwood at Dubai Desert Classic

Rafael Cabrera-Bello
Rafael Cabrera-Bello

Spain's Rafael Cabrera-Bello beat Lee Westwood and Stephen Gallacher by a shotexternal-link to win the Dubai Desert Classic.

Westwood was reeled in by Cabrera-Bello, whose birdie putt on the 17th proved the difference as he carded 68 for an 18-under-par total of 270.

"This has been a really, really spectacular week for me and this is the quality jump I was looking for in my game," Cabrera-Bello said.

Marcel Siem was fourth, with joint halfway leader Rory McIlroy fifth.

"It's an unbelievable feeling," said Cabrera-Bello. "This win will open a lot of opportunities to play with the really great players.

"I played great the entire week and, with many big names up there, I felt very proud of myself.

"I wanted to fight and stayed calm. I had not been in this situation before; it was really amazing.

"I had my ups and downs but overall I played great."

Cabrera-Bello was bogey-free while England's Westwood, who made an eagle two on his second hole, could not make his up-and-down from the fringe on the par-five 18th hole to force a play-off.

And after laying up from the rough, Scot Gallacher, 37, missed his 12-foot birdie attempt to hand victory to Cabrera-Bello - the third Spanish winner of the title in a row after Miguel Angel Jimenez and Alvaro Quiros

The 27-year-old world number 119's win, on a tough, windy day at the Majlis course of the Emirates Golf Club, was his second title on the European Tour. His previous victory was the 2009 Austrian Open.

However, Westwood does have the consolation of taking the world number two spot back off McIlroy - by 0.004 ranking points.

McIlroy said: "I'm a little disappointed considering the position I was in going into the weekend, but I can't be that disappointed.

"I'm pleased with how I hit the ball and that's very positive to take into the next few weeks."