Antoine Rozner claimed his maiden European Tour title at the Golf in Dubai Championship presented by DP World after a stellar final round performance helped the Frenchman come from four shots back to seal a two-stroke victory at Jumeirah Golf Estates.
The 27-year-old was neck-and-neck with Andy Sullivan down the stretch but it was a superlative second shot into the par-five 18th hole which sealed the deal as a two-putt birdie earned the European Tour Rookie an eight under final round 64 and a 25 under total.
That moved him to 24th in the Race to Dubai Rankings presented by Rolex as he looks forward to a debut in next week’s DP World Championship, Dubai, confident in the knowledge that his two Challenge Tour victories in 2019 came in back-to-back fashion.
Sullivan, who had led the field after each of the opening three rounds, had a disappointing day as two bogeys contributed to his worst round of the week, a two under 70 which left him in a share of second alongside three others.
Sullivan’s English compatriot Matt Wallace enjoyed a stunning back nine which comprised five birdies and four pars to sign for a four under 68 and a joint second place finish. Mike Lorenzo Vera’s second successive 65 meant he joined the English duo on 23 under, as did Italy’s Francesco Laporta, who finished with four birdies in a row for a closing 66 and the best result of his European Tour career.
Antoine Rozner: “So many feelings. I’ve been close twice this year in Mauritius and in Valderrama, I couldn’t close it out, so I’m just very happy with how I played this week and especially today. A 64 on a Sunday is always a pretty good score so to get it done in this fashion was a big deal for me.
“To be honest I had no idea what was going on. I just knew Mike was playing well because I saw his name pop up at some point on the leaderboards. I only knew I was the leader when I was on the 18th green. I think that actually helped me a little bit, I didn’t want to know what was going on.
“I told my caddie I don’t want to know, we just need to keep pushing and doing what we’re doing, keep being aggressive and I think that was a good strategy.
“I was quite calm to be honest, I was a bit pumped up obviously. I’m really glad that last putt was really close because otherwise it would have been a long three- or four-footer. I’m really surprised with how I handled it to be honest, I just kept pushing until the last hole so that was the key for me.
“I knew I was in the final event already before this week, but to get it done and win a tournament is just amazing. I didn’t play any Rolex Series events this season so for me to play the biggest tournament of the year, the final, is a big deal. The top players will be there so I’m very excited to compete at the next level and I think it will be very challenging and interesting for me.”