Antoine Rozner raised the French tricolours to the top of the European Tour mast for a third time this year with a sensational maiden Tour success in capturing the inaugural Golf in Dubai Championship presented by DP World.
The 27-year old Parisian-born golfer came from four shots back of overnight leader Andy Sullivan to win by two shots with a closing round 65 for a 25-under par tally on the Sergio Garcia designed course at the Jumeirah Estates in Dubai. Englishman Sullivan had led from the outside and was still two strokes ahead of Frenchman Mike Lorenzo-Vera as he reached the homeward stretch.
However, it was Rozner in his maiden main Tour season grabbing a hat-trick of birdies from the ninth to close gap to one before nosing in front in sensational manner with an eagle at the par- 5 13th. Sullivan’s chance at a second Tour win this year ended when he bogeyed 16 and then missed the green left at the last in a round of 70 to share second at 23-under.
Tour rookie Rozner became the 14th first time winner of the 2020 Race to Dubai on his 24th appearance. He also is the third Frenchman to win on this year’s Race to Dubai schedule after Joel Stalter captured the Euram Bank Open, the second event post the lifting of the lockdown, and Romain Langaesque won the Wales Open.
“It means a lot. It’s been such a strange year, we have been through so much all over the world and to be able to get it done in such nice fashion, eight under, it’s amazing,” Rozner said. “I’m going to be very honest with you, the first time I saw I was in the lead was when I was on the 18th green so I didn’t really look at the leaderboards.
“I knew the game was there. I didn’t know it was that good but I’m excited. I knew I was in the final (DP World Tour Championship, Dubai) already, it’s just a good way to finish the season. The biggest tournament of the year. I didn’t play any Rolex Series events this year so to be able to play such a big tournament will be a big thing for me, so I’m excited.”
Four players – Sullivan, Lorenzo-Vera (65), Italian Francesco Laporta (66) and England’s Matt Wallace (68) – shared second on 23-under. Niall Kearney shared 30th spot on minus-13.