Bloomberg News

Rock Wins Abu Dhabi Golf as Woods Fades in Final Round

January 29, 2012

(Updates with comment from Rock in third paragraph, Woods in seventh.)

Jan. 29 (Bloomberg) -- England’s Robert Rock won the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship by one stroke from Rory McIlroy as former world No. 1 Tiger Woods’s challenge faded in the final round.

Rock, who shared the overnight lead with Woods of the U.S., shot 2-under-par 70 to finish on 13-under for the tournament at the Abu Dhabi Golf Club. An even-par round for Woods left him on 11-under in a tie for third.

“I can’t believe I have done this. It’s such an amazing feeling,” Rock told Sky Sports. “I surprised myself early on as I was very nervous, but I hit some good shots and then thought to myself, why not?”

The 34-year-old Rock collects a check for 347,024 euros ($460,000) after taking his second European Tour title and will climb into the top 60 of the Official World Golf Ranking from 117th.

He hit five birdies and three bogeys today, including losing a shot at the final hole after pushing his drive into a hazard and taking a penalty drop.

Woods, a 14-time major winner, had three birdies and three bogeys and ended his round with pars at eight straight holes. He was playing his first event since ending a 749-day victory drought last month at the limited-field Chevron World Challenge, an invitational tournament in California.

“I was right there with a chance to win, but just didn’t get the job done,” Woods told Sky Sports.

Northern Ireland’s McIlroy was runner-up in Abu Dhabi for a second straight year, with a birdie at the 18th leaving him one shot ahead of Woods, Northern Ireland’s Graeme McDowell and Denmark’s Thomas Bjorn.

Germany’s Martin Kaymer, winner in three of the past four years, had failed to make the halfway cut.

--Editors: Paul Jarvis, Ross Larsen.

To contact the reporter on this story: James Cone in London at jcone@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Christopher Elser at celser@bloomberg.net.


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