Dustin Johnson wants to come back and win Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship next year

Disappointed to miss out, Martin Kaymer will fly to Qatar to play there before returning to Dubai for Desert Classic, writes Paul Radley.

Dustin Johnson had to fend off jet lag to finish tied for second in his first championship in the Middle East. Scott Halleran / Getty Images
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ABU DHABI // Dustin Johnson plans to return to the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship next year, after finishing in a tie for second on his debut in the Middle East.

The world No 3 ended one stroke behind winner Tommy Fleetwood and alongside Pablo Larrazabal, after signing for a final-round 68 that took him to 16-under for the tournament.

Trademark long-hitting brought him an eagle at the last, but the US Open champion was eventually left to rue a slow start to the week.

The American bemoaned the effects of jet lag, after only managing a level-par 72 when playing the opening round alongside two other major holders, Henrik Stenson and Danny Willett.

By the end of the competition, though, Johnson had found his groove, and he hopes to come back to challenge for the Falcon Trophy in 12 months’ time.

“I enjoyed it,” Johnson said. “Hopefully I’ll be back next year. I like the golf course. I think it sets up well for me now, now that I’ve played it a few times, am a little more comfortable on it and know what lines I need to take off the tee and what clubs to hit.”


Also from Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship

■ Fleetwood: Englishman 'proud' of clinching title on sixth attempt

■ Stenson: Stenson pleased even as title eludes him for 12th time

■ Numbers: Fleetwood's win, Larrazabal's miss and much more

■ Gallery: Relive final-round action at National Course on Sunday


Martin Kaymer, another of the former major winners who was still in contention during the final throes of the championship, finished tied for fourth alongside Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Bernd Wiesberger.

Kaymer is scheduled to play the full quota of Desert Swing tournaments, as he heads to Qatar this week, then back to Dubai for the Desert Classic at the start of next month.

The three-time winner of the Falcon Trophy is happy with his form ahead of the trip to Doha.

“Obviously I really enjoy this place,” Kaymer said of the National Course. “It’s almost my second home. It didn’t quite work out this week, but Qatar and Dubai I look forward to.”

Dean Burmester’s fairytale run, which saw him rubbing shoulders with major winners at the top of the leaderboard as they all chased Fleetwood, ended in a seventh-place finish.

He qualified for Abu Dhabi only after finishing fourth in his home South African Open last week, yet lined up for the final round in the third-last three-ball, alongside An Byeong-hun and Peter Hanson.

“I’m pretty amazed,” Burmester said, after shooting 69 for a 14-under total. “I was a little nervous on the first tee this morning, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t.

“Peter and Ben really helped me to feel at home on the course early on. I just managed to keep a lot of mistakes off the card and I hit the ball pretty solid all day and just had a nice finish.”


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