Ogilvy is a capital contender

Geoff Ogilvy's successful defence of the US PGA Tour's season opener suggests that the Australian will be the man to beat in Abu Dhabi.

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Geoff Ogilvy's successful defence of the US PGA Tour's season-opening SBS Championship suggests that the Australian will be the man to beat in next week's Abu Dhabi Championship - the first leg of the European Tour's popular Desert Swing. Beginning the final round in Hawaii a stroke behind Lucas Glover, a fellow former winner of the US Open, Ogilvy showed tremendous composure over the back nine to retain his title with a shot to spare over the fast-finishing South African Rory Sabatini who closed with a brilliant 10-under-par round 63.

"I am really happy and excited that I could get it done," said a delighted Ogilvy, who finished with a round of 67 to get to 22 under par over the four days at the Kapalua resort. "With nine holes to play, we knew what we had to do and I'm so proud that I was able to do it." Ogilvy is anxious not to suffer a similar false dawn as he did last year when his Hawaiian win was followed up with success in the Accenture Match Play Championship but precious little else.

"I think I learned some good lessons from last year and I think I can do a better job of starting well and continuing on this year," he said. "When the game started going a little bit awry, which it's going to do in golf, I pushed a bit too hard. I was trying to force it back. It never came back and that's obviously not the right way in golf. You have to let it come back." Meanwhile, two of the Arab world's brightest, indigenous golfers are to make their Abu Dhabi Golf Championship debuts later this month. Emirati Ahmed Al Musharrekh and Saudi Arabia's Othman Almulla will both be in action in the capital.

For Al Musharrekh, 19, the event will mark his European Tour debut. "Looking forward, the goals I have are professional in nature, so I want to seize every opportunity I can and make the most out of them," he said. sports@thenational.ae