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Li Haotong a winner at Omega Dubai Desert Classic, but Matt Fitzpatrick loses out

Emirates Golf Club threw up four days of sublime action. Take a look at our man Matthew Jones' take on two players who can be happy with their weekend and two players who will head back to the drawing board

Matt Jones 2018/01/28

With the dust settling on another Omega Dubai Desert Classic, fans at Emirates Golf Club were treated to a true classic as China’s Li Haotong showed grit and desire to hold off two-time champion Rory McIlroy.

Here, we look at two winners and two losers from the final day in the desert.

Winners:

Li Haotong

Winning the tournament, a second ever European Tour victory, earning him a cheque of €500,000 (Dh2.28m) for his biggest payday too.

Add in the fact he showed tremendous fight and resilience battling one of the game’s best and posted a record score to par, it really wasn’t a bad day’s work.

Oh, he also earned lifetime honorary membership to Emirates Golf Club.

Chris Paisley

What a start to the year it’s been for the Englishman. In the last two weeks he’s entered the top-100 for the first time, won for the first time on the European Tour at the South Africa Open, finished tied for fifth at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship last week and follows it up with solo fifth place in Dubai.

He’s playing himself into Ryder Cup contention.

 

Losers:

Haydn Porteous

A marvellous -7 under par third round jettisoned the 23-year-old South African into a share of third place, alongside Alexander Levy.

All he needed was a solid final flourish to be in with a chance of claiming a third win on tour.

But while fellow youngster Li rose to the occasion, Porteous plummeted down the rankings thanks to a +2 over par 74, the worst round of any of the top 44 players.

Matt Fitzpatrick

Golf is a fluctuating game where form and luck changes from week to week, but while McIlroy, Paisley, Levy and Tyrrell Hatton backed up decent performances in Abu Dhabi up with solid showings here, the Ryder Cup hopeful floundered after finishing tied third a week ago.

The defending European Masters champion missed the cut, failing to recover from a +1 over par opening round.

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Golf Li Haotong Omega Dubai Desert Classic Rory McIl­roy