Everything you need to know from the week's action at Abu Dhabi Golf Club.
Lee Westwood's victory saw him reach an impressive milestone, the European eTour Series' first winner was crowned and one of the most popular players on Tour teed it up at his 600th event.
Here, we take a look at the highlights from the 2020 Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship presented by EGA.
Win number 25 for Westwood
The former World Number One made every ounce of his experience count on Sunday as he produced a marvellous display of front running to see off a star studded chasing pack. Entering the final day in the desert with a one shot lead, Westwood was briefly caught but never passed, carding a 67 to get to 19 under par and win by two shots. That took his tally of European Tour victories to 25 and saw him become a winner in a fourth decade, having secured his maiden title in 1996. Matthew Fitzpatrick, Tommy Fleetwood and Victor Perez ran him close as they starred on Sunday but could only finish in a tie for second.
I'm definitely blaming Tim for making me cry again 😂 Have to say I'm pretty proud of winning @EuropeanTour events in 4 different decades. Life in the old dog yet! #ADGolfChamps pic.twitter.com/6JXArweAb0— Lee Westwood (@WestwoodLee) January 19, 2020
The rise and rise of Victor Perez
Frenchman Perez has gone from strength to strength since graduating from the European Challenge Tour in 2018, claiming his maiden European Tour title at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship last season, a top five finish at a World Golf Championships event and a place in the top 50 of the Official World Golf Ranking. And the career firsts kept on coming on Sunday as he posted his lowest round on the European Tour, firing a bogey-free 63 which contained an eagle and seven birdies. That was enough to earn a share of second place alongside birthday boy Fleetwood and Fitzpatrick, who also finished the week on 17 under. Perez said: "This year is going to be brand new again for me like last year was, being my first year on the European Tour, and this year I'm going to be getting in some Majors. This will be all new so it's learning and that's the great thing about golf, you always learn, good or bad."
Fitzpatrick in the mix again
The 25-year-old Englishman has five European Tour titles to his name but that statistic does not tell the whole story. He came agonisingly close to adding to that tally in the 2019 campaign as he finished second on four occasions - at the Hong Kong Open, BMW International Open, Scandinavian Invitation and Italian Open. And he was the runner-up again on Sunday, as his sparkling 67 was enough for a share of second. He said: "It's a great start to the year and you're always a little bit nervous when you come into the start of the year after taking so much time off. So to come back and play as well as I felt I have done is a positive."
Gordley wins first European eTour Series event
More than 45,000 people from 169 different countries entered when the European Tour, in partnership with esports specialists DreamHack and Topgolf Entertainment Group, launched golf’s first esports series last month.That number was gradually whittled down, with eight players earning their spots onsite at Abu Dhabi Golf Club to compete in two round robin groups, before straight knockout semi-finals and the final. Playing the leading online and mobile golf game, World Golf Tour (WGT) by Topgolf, American Payton Gordley defeated countryman Joshua Smith in the final to take the trophy and US$5,000 winners’ cheque. “I feel surprised and relieved – a lot of mixed emotions,” said the 21-year-old. “I almost gave the match away and I’m just grateful that I ended up coming through and winning at the end."
Kjeldsen joins the 600 club
There are few more popular figures on the European Tour than Dane Søren Kjeldsen and when he hit his first shot at 1.15pm on Thursday, he had teed it up in 600 events. At just 44, he has plenty of time to add to both his appearances and his four wins. “Back in 1998, to get on the European Tour was a major achievement and to still be here 23 years after, I could have never dreamt of that,” he said. “I am still very passionate about the game but to be around young players, it gives you that little bit extra. I’m very pleased to be here at 600, so let’s see what happens in the future.”