Journalists around the world have lavished praise on Robert Rock for his victory in the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship, where he held off the challenges of none other than Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Thomas Björn. www.europeantour.com has picked out the best of Monday’s headlines…
Global Golf Post: Rocked and Wrecked
Brian Hewitt says Rock seized the opening, never surrendered the lead and emerged with an inspirational, if improbable, victory, while Lewine Mair believes Rock was less nervous playing with Woods than he had anticipated because he was able to have a chat with his idol at the end of the third round. Read more....
The Independent: Rock goes from selling Mars bars to taming Tiger
Golf writer James Corrigan believes Rock’s story is a “modern fairy tale to capture any imagination” and called his victory a “life-changing moment”. Corrigan tells how Rock was working at a driving range ten years ago selling Mars bars and watching Tiger win Majors.
Daily Express: Rock rolls over Tiger to cap rise
Neil Squires says Rock faced down golf’s greatest closer to turn fantasy into reality, and that before this victory he was known only for being the one golfer who does not wear a cap or visor.
The Times: Steadfast Rock refuses to buckle
The Times golf correspondent Peter Dixon believes Rock will take this moment into old age after seeing off the challenge of the greatest golfer of his generation - and in Rory McIlroy, possibly the greatest of the next – to win in Abu Dhabi. A cast list full of stars, says Dixon, but it was the understudy who took the plaudits.
The Telegraph: Rock rolls Woods into submission
Oliver Brown described Rock’s performance as a career-defining display of guts and guile and lauded his mental resilience to join such luminaries as Phil Mickelson, Padraig Harrington and YE Yang to have confronted Woods down the stretch and prevailed.
The Guardian: Woods fails to break Rock as Englishman holds nerve for biggest win of his career
“A nerveless performance” was how Lawrence Donegan described Rock’s final 18 holes. Donegan also said Rock now has the prospect of a lifetime being known as the man who beat Tiger Woods in Abu Dhabi.
Daily Mail: Rock solid
Derek Lawrenson was another to detail Rock’s rags to riches story, saying that ten years ago he was working in a Midlands driving range while Tiger Woods was winning everything. He says Rock is a softly spoken 34 year old completing a fairy tale journey from the game’s humble heartlands to the epicentre of the sport.
The Sun: Rock ‘n Stroll
David Facey says Rock went toe-to-toe with Woods in the desert and kicked sand in the former World No 1’s face.
Irish Independent: ‘Rocky’ holds off crouching Tiger
Karl MacGinty compares Rock to the boxing movie character Rocky and says he delivered a knockout performance in Abu Dhabi.