Dubuisson earns decisive win in Turkey|
Antalya, Turkey (SportsNetwork.com) - Victor Dubuisson warded off a hard
charge from the chasing pack on Sunday to win the Turkish Airlines Open by a
pair of strokes.
Dubuisson held a five-shot lead entering the final round, but that advantage
was extinguished when Jamie Donaldson, playing two groups ahead, aced the
par-3 16th. Justin Rose then birdied the hole to create a three-way tie at the
top, but Dubuisson responded with a tap-in birdie at the 15th to reclaim the
Donaldson again pulled even when he birdied the par-5 last, but Dubuisson
immediately answered, draining a 35-foot birdie putt on No. 17 to move ahead.
Needing a par for the win, Dubuisson instead closed in style, chipping to six
feet at the last and sinking the putt for birdie and his first career European
Tour victory. The 23-year-old, who had never finished better than third on the
circuit, carded a final-round 69 and ended 72 holes at 24-under-par 264.
"I don't know how to describe it," said Dubuisson. "Now I don't realize what's
happening. I felt so much pressure on the last hole."
Donaldson fired the low round of the day, a 63, to end alone in second place
at 22-under 266, while Rose bogeyed the last for a 65 and a share of third
place alongside world No. 1 Tiger Woods at minus-20.
Woods, playing his first stroke-play event since the Tour Championship on the
PGA Tour in September, birdied four of his last six holes at the Montgomerie
Maxx Royal to wrap up a final-round 67.
Beginning the day six strokes off the lead, Woods opened with a pair of pars
before carding three birdies in a four-hole span from the third. He stumbled
to a bogey at the seventh, then, after three straight pars, dropped another
shot at the 11th. Woods parred the 12th and heated up from there, notching
birdies at Nos. 13, 15, 16 and 17 before parring the last to claim a share of
Ian Poulter (69) and Raphael Jacquelin (68) shared fifth at 19-under, while
Race to Dubai leader Henrik Stenson (69), Marc Warren (65) and Bernd
Wiesberger (64) tied for seventh at minus-18.
Dubuisson opened the final round with nine straight pars, which allowed those
in his wake to draw close. He birdied the 10th, then parred three straight as
Donaldson jumped into contention.
After opening with seven birdies and a bogey over his first 15 holes,
Donaldson sent his tee shot at the par-3 16th five feet from the cup and
watched it roll home for a hole-in-one and a share of the lead.
Rose also reached 21-under with a birdie there, his seventh of the day, but
Dubuisson proved up to the task. After a bogey at the 14th, he chipped within
three feet and tapped in for birdie at the next.
At the par-5 18th, Donaldson sent his second shot within 15 feet and narrowly
missed the eagle putt. He settled for birdie, which wasn't enough, as
Dubuisson closed with consecutive gains for his maiden win.
"Holing this putt on 17 was like; it was incredible. It was incredible, and
the birdie on 18, it's a bonus," Dubuisson said. "But even on the last putt, I
was feeling so much stress. After this day, it was the longest day on the
course that I've ever had. I'm very proud of what I did."
NOTES: Dubuisson was making his 72nd European Tour start. His previous best
performances on the European Tour were third in the 2013 Volvo China Open and
2013 Omega European Masters and a share of third in the 2012 Ballantine's
Championship ... Stenson now holds a 214,000-point lead over Rose in the Race
to Dubai standings. Rose leapfrogged Graeme McDowell, who did not play in the
tournament. Poulter is fourth in the standings ... This marked the first time
the European Tour played in Turkey.
11/10 11:00:53 ET