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Donaldson outshines Rose, Olesen to win in Abu Dhabi

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Even with Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods missing the weekend, te European Tour provided a very entertaining Sunday morning for gof fans in the U.S.

Welshman Jaime Donaldson fired a 4-under-par final round of 68 to finish at 14-under and win the 2013 Abu Dhabi HSBC Championships at Abu Dhabi Golf Course, UAE. Donaldson finished one shot ahead of third-round leader Justin Rose and Dane Thorbjørn Olesen.

With the victory, Donaldson’s second career European Tour win, the 37-year old moves into the top 50 in the Official World Golf Rankings and earned a spot in the 2013 Masters. It was a particularly sweet moment for the European Tour veteran, who at one point had lost his card, but rebuilt his game to the point where he could compete with the best players in the world.

Donaldson got out to a fast start, notching a birdie on Hole 1. He added four more birdies in a seven hole stretch starting on the ninth hole to take a one shot lead over third-round leader, Rose. The lead expanded to two shots when Rose played perhaps his loosest hole of the tournament, in bogeying No. 16.

Rose put himself in position to get one back with an approach to 8 feet on the 441-yard 17th hole. But he missed his birdie opportunity; his only remaining chance for victory was an improbable eagle on No. 18 or a birdie and a mistake by Donaldson. After a routine par on No. 17, Donaldson hit his drive on the 567-yard 18th hole into the left rough, and his left his third shot was hit to 60 feet away from the hole, leaving a very difficult uphill two-putt for par.

Donaldson complied with Rose’s needs, missing a 4-footer for par to shave his lead to one shot over Rose and Olesen. Olesen left his third shot on No. 18 some 15 feet under the hole while Rose put his pin high, just 10 feet away. Olesen’s birdie attempt to tie Donaldson curled by the left side of the hole, leaving it to third-round leader Rose to force a playoff. Rose hit a beautiful putt that cruelly hit the hole and lipped out. It was that kind of day for Rose, who had been the beneficiary of stellar putting all week but never quite got it going on Sunday.

Donaldson was both elated and humble in victory.

“I played good [sic] all week and particularly today,” he said. “Honestly, I was thinking that there would be a playoff but a couple of putts went my way.”

Donaldson tipped his cap to the difficulty of the gargantuan 7600-yard, par-72 layout.

“When I was playing the pro-am my thought was that it’s just too hard,” he said. “So I just put my head down and tried to play aggressively. It’s a great way to start to start the year.”

Other notable finishers included three-time Abu Dhabi Championship winner Martin Kaymer, who finished tied for sixth place with a 9-under par 279.

The European Tour continues its Desert Swing when it reconvenes next week in Qatar for the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters, followed by the Omega Dubai Classic the week after.

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Williams has a reputation as a savvy broadcaster, and as an incisive interviewer and writer. An avid golfer himself, Williams has covered the game of golf and the golf lifestyle including courses, restaurants, travel and sports marketing for publications all over the world. He is currently working with a wide range of outlets in traditional and electronic media, and has produced and hosted “Sticks and Stones” on the Fox Radio network, a critically acclaimed show that combined coverage of the golf world with interviews of the Washington power elite. His work on Newschannel8’s “Capital Golf Weekly” and “SportsTalk” have established him as one of the area’s most trusted sources for golf reporting. Williams has also made numerous radio appearances on “The John Thompson Show,” and a host of other local productions. He is a sought-after speaker and panel moderator, he has recently launched a new partnership with The O Team to create original golf-themed programming and events. Williams is a member of the United States Golf Association and the Golf Writers Association of America.

2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Martin S. Jensen

    Jan 20, 2013 at 2:57 pm

    One minor error: Swede Thorbjørn Olesen it should say Dane Thorbjørn Olesen

  2. Troy Vayanos

    Jan 20, 2013 at 2:17 pm

    Good victory by Donaldson.

    Winning back to back wins on the European tour the last 2 years. The biggest victory out of this is breaking into the top 50 world golf rankings. This gives him an invite to the US Masters which in itself feels like a victory.

    It’s also notable that Donaldson finished in the top 10 at the US PGA last year so he’s managed to build his game up to compete at the highest level.

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Tour News

REPORT: Tiger Woods to play in the Genesis Open on Feb 15

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Last season, Tiger Woods withdrew from a press conference at the Genesis Open due to back spasms. This season, Woods will reportedly play in the 2018 Genesis Open at Riviera C.C. in Pacific Palisades, California from February 15-18.

By withdrawing from the 2017 Genesis Open — an event which his Tiger Woods Foundation hosts — Woods ensured that a promising comeback was not to be. At the start of 2017, Woods committed to play in the Farmers Insurance Open, the Omega Dubai Desert Classic, the Genesis Open and the Honda Classic… an aggressive schedule for Woods, who hadn’t played much competitive golf in the previous year due to back injuries and surgeries. Things didn’t go as planned, however, as Woods missed the cut at the Farmers, withdrew after an opening-round 77 in Dubai, and withdrew from the Genesis Open and the Honda.

Since then, Woods has had spinal fusion surgery, and he recently finished T9 at the 18-player 2017 Hero World Challenge. It was there he showed the golfing world — and probably himself, too — that he can still compete among the world’s best golfers when he’s healthy.

At the Hero World Challenge, Woods was consistently hitting 179 mph of ball speed off the tee with his driver, and despite some early concerns with the wedge, he showed prowess around and on the greens. He was yip-less, fast, healthy, and finished 8-under through four rounds. A Tiger Woods comeback seems more plausible now than it has in three years.

Woods will continue to test his game at the 2017 Genesis Open — a start that will come 26 years after competing as a 16-year-old amateur in the 1992 Nissan Open at Riviera. Much like 26 years ago, Woods comes to Riviera as a golfer who needs to prove himself… it’s just that this time around, he has 14 majors and 79 PGA Tour wins to his name.

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Thursday’s Photos from the 2017 PNC Father/Son Challenge

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GolfWRX is live this week from the 2017 PNC Father/Son Challenge at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Club in Orlando, Florida.

The 20-team field includes some of the game’s legendary major champions, and their sons. Notable teams include John Daly/Little John Daly, Nick Faldo/Matthew Faldo, Tom Kite/David Kite, Bernhard Langer/Jason Langer, Greg Norman/Greg Norman Jr., Jack Nicklaus/Gary Nicklaus Jr., and Lee Trevino/Daniel Trevino.  The teams will compete in a scramble format over 36 holes to decide the winners of the Willie Park Trophy.

Last year, David Duval and his step-son Nick Karavites took home the trophy, and they are back in the field this year to defend.

Check out our photos below from this year’s event!

Thursday’s Photos

Discussion: See what GolfWRX members are saying about the photos

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Friday’s Photos from the 2017 QBE Shootout

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GolfWRX is live this week from the 2017 QBE Shootout at Tiburon G.C. in Naples, Florida. Formerly known as the Franklin Templeton Shootout, or the Shark Shootout, the unofficial event plays host to 24 of some of the world’s best golfers, competing in a two-person team competition. The format calls for 54 holes; first-round scramble, second-round modified alternate shot, and third-round fourball (or better ball).

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Here is a list of the teams:

  • Daniel Berger-Gary Woodland
  • Keegan Bradley-Brendan Steele
  • Kevin Chappell-Kevin Kisner
  • Jason Dufner-Billy Horschel
  • Harris English-Matt Kuchar
  • Tony Finau-Lexi Thompson
  • Brian Harman-Pat Perez
  • Russell Henley-Kyle Stanley
  • Charley-Hoffman-Zach Johnson
  • Shane Lowry-Graeme McDowell
  • Brandt Snedeker-Bubba Watson
  • Sean O’Hair-Steve Stricker

Last year, Harris English and Matt Kuchar took down the crown, finishing at 28-under par for the event. Of course, they’ll be playing together again this year as the defending champs.

Check out our photos from the 2017 QBE Shootout below!

Friday’s Galleries

Discussion: See what GolfWRX members are saying about the photos in our forums.

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