Tommy Fleetwood holed six birdies on the back nine to beat fellow Englishman Ross Fisher by two shots and retain his Abu Dhabi Championship title. Fleetwood, 27, started the day two shots behind joint overnight leaders Fisher and Belgian Thomas Pieters. He hit eight birdies in a seven-under 65 to win on 22 under with Fisher only able to par the last for a 69. Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy (70) finished two shots back alongside England’s Matt Fitzpatrick (69). Pieters, who closed with a 72, finished alongside another Englishman – Chris Paisley (69). Fisher looked on course for a first European Tour victory for nearly four years after he had an eagle and two birdies in his first nine holes to move to 21 under. Fleetwood, who reached the turn on 16 under, countered with birdies on the 10th, 12th and 13th holes to close within one of Fisher, who bogeyed the 10th and had pars on the next four. A further birdie on the 15th saw Fleetwood draw level with Fisher on 19 under. Fisher then bogeyed the 15th but responded with a birdie at the next, to stay one behind Southport’s Fleetwood, who had holed a 40-foot putt to pick up a shot at the 16th. Fleetwood then rolled in a five-foot putt on the par-five 18th, meaning Fisher needed an eagle on the last to force a play-off but he could only manage par. World number 11 McIlroy had been in contention after reaching the turn on 18 under but seven pars followed by a bogey on the 17th ended his challenge.
Photo: REUTERS/Satish Kumar