Omega Dubai Desert Classic: Stephen Gallacher makes history in the desert
Last Updated: 02/02/14 11:45pm
Stephen Gallacher: Came home in 33 to win by a shot
Scotland's Stephen Gallacher shot a closing 72 to become the first man to retain the Omega Dubai Desert Classic title.
Gallacher led by two shots overnight but slipped back after four front-nine bogeys saw him go out in 39.
But he recovered on the back nine, making birdies at 11, 13, 16 and 17 to complete a level-par round.
GB & Ire unless stated
-16 S Gallacher
-15 E Grillo (Arg)
-14 R Wattel (Fra)
-14 B Koepka (USA)
Click here for collated scores
That was enough to give him victory by a shot from Argentinian Emiliano Grillo.
Gallacher's back nine was nothing like as spectacular as the seven birdies and an eagle he produced to cover the same stretch in just 28 shots on Saturday, but it was enough to make him the first man to retain the title in the tournament's 25-year history.
He also joins a highly exclusive list of men who have won the prestigious title more than once- Ernie Els and Tiger Woods are the only other multiple winners.
Remarkably, it is just the Scot's third victory in 18 years and 431 events on the European Tour.
Grillo had set the clubhouse target on 15 under after a flawless 66 completed in amazing fashion, the world No 268 holing from 65 feet for an eagle on the 18th after his approach had clattered into the hospitality tents behind the green and bounced back onto the putting surface.
Grillo started the week 119th in the Race to Dubai standings but the €202,176 second prize is the biggest cheque of his career and likely to secure his Tour card for next season.
France's Romain Wattel and American Brooks Koepka shared third place on 14 under, with Rory McIlroy two shots further back after struggling to a 74.
Watch the final round of the Omega Dubai Desert Classic.
Wattel also finished with a 66 while Koepka shot a closing 70.
World No 1 Tiger Woods carded a final round of 71 to finish in a tie for 41st on six under.
He did, however, finish with a flourish, birdieing his final three holes. "Unfortunately I turned it around too late," he commented.