Antoine Rozner saved his best for last to win the first Golf in Dubai Championship at the Fire Course on Saturday.
The Frenchman produced a stunning eight-under-64 in the final round to clinch the title by two shots ahead of a group of four runners-up; England’s pair Andy Sullivan and Matt Wallace, Mike Lorenzo-Vera of France and Italian Francisco Laporta.
Rozner, 27, fired six birdies and an eagle to come home 25 under for scores of 63, 69, 67 and 64 across the four days.
In the final round, he sank three birdies on the front nine, began the back nine with successive birdies and the eagle on the 13th, but bogeyed the 15th before rounding off in style with birdies on the 16th and 18th.
“I don’t really know how to explain my feelings right now,” Rozner said of his victory at the Jumeirah Golf Estates.
“I was close to winning twice this year, in Mauritius and Valderrama. So to get it done today in such a good fashion with an eight under last round – I’m just really happy with how I played today. To get it done like this was an amazing feeling.”
Rozner now has momentum on his side for next week’s DP World Tour Championship at the adjoining Earth Course.
“Very excited because I didn’t get into any Rolex Series events this year,” the Frenchman said.
“To get into the DP World, the biggest tournament of the year and the last one of the year, it will be really nice for me to be able to compete at the next level.”
Talking about his second shot at the 18, Rozner said everything came together perfectly when it mattered.
“I think it was 234 metres to the pin. I wanted to carry 220 and I had the perfect club for this, my three-iron,” he said.
“I was a bit pumped up as well but there was wind into, I just hit a really good three iron. It’s funny because I just changed this club this week, it’s a new three-iron.
“It was a really good shot and I was happy to make a birdie on the last.”
Sullivan, who carded a new course record 61 in the opening round and led for three days and for most of the final round, began the day with a birdie on the first hole to stretch his lead to three shots.
However, he ended the day on two-under after carding four birdies and two bogeys on the eighth and the 16th.
Grant Forrest returned with the day’s best nine under to finish sixth ahead of England’s Ross Fisher, the joint second overnight, in seventh.
“It’s massive,” Scot Forrest said. “It’s been the goal for the whole year and I got off to a good start before all of this kicked off and then I’ve not really played my best since we started playing again.
“Coming into this week I knew I probably needed at least top five. I set myself a target of 20 under and I was a bit disappointed with yesterday’s round.
“I left a few shots out there coming in and today was one of those days where everything went for me. I putted really well and I got away with a couple of bad shots too.”