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NERVELESS WILLETT CLAIMS DRAMATIC WIN IN DUBAI

Another big win for the Englishman as he begins to show real pedigree

Danny Willett made a brilliant clutch putt on the last to win the Omega Dubai Desert Classic in dramatic style at Emirates Golf Club.

The Englishman began the day with a one-shot lead and opened that up to three shots twice on Sunday afternoon, but a birdie on the last from Andy Sullivan and a birdie-birdie finish from Rafa Cabrera-Bello meant he needed to make a 15-foot putt for the title.

And make it he did, the 28 year old showing nerves of steel to send the ball down the slope, left-to-right and into the cup to seal his fourth European Tour win.

“I’m ecstatic,” he said. “You can’t buy that feeling, coming down the back nine, the last three holes, in contention in a golf tournament. It’s something that you can’t pay for in life. You’ve got to earn it.

The win could send Willett into the top 15 in the Official World Golf Ranking and gives a major boost to his stated ambitions of making Darren Clarke’s Ryder Cup team for Hazeltine.

It is the second week in succession that Cabrera-Bello, winner here in 2012, has finished in a share of second and makes it three top 15 finishes on the 2016 Desert Swing for the Spaniard.

Willett and Sullivan had been battling it out throughout the day, with the latter taking a one-shot lead early as he got off to a brilliant start with birdies on the second and fourth.

But Willett found his rhythm, and when he made a birdie on the par three seventh, his lead was up to three shots and he looked to be cruising to the title.

The lead was cut to one by the turn but back-to-back birdies on the 12th and 13th had it back at three before a bogey on the 14th, coupled with a Sullivan birdie on the next, tightened things up again.

Cabrera-Bello had turned in level par but birdied the 13th and when he made another on the 17th, he was just a shot off the lead.

Sullivan showed great heart with a 12-foot putt on the last for birdie to join Willett at 18 under and, when Cabrera-Bello also birdied the last, the stage was set for Willett to roll in his putt for a brilliant victory.

Byeong-hun An and 2011 champion Alvaro Quiros both finished with rounds of 65 to sit three behind the winner at 16 under, while McIlroy was a further shot back after a 65 of his own, alongside Henrik Stenson.

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