Nov 15th, 2021
Hansen holds nerve for Dubai win
Dane claims second European Tour title at AVIV Dubai Championship
Photography: Getty Images
Hansen dropped only a single shot in 72 holes over the Fire Course at Jumeirah Golf Estates - a bogey five on the 15th in his third round – as he claimed his second European Tour title to add to his 2020 Joburg Open triumph.
The 31-year-old started the final round tied for the lead with Laporta but he birdied the opening hole to move clear at the top of the leaderboard and never relinquished his advantage, adding three more birdies to his scorecard on the seventh, tenth and 13th holes to finish on twenty-three-under-par.
“It means a lot, especially with family and friends here this time. There was no one there in Joburg. When I saw Jeff Winther win in Mallorca, I was very jealous because he had the family and friends celebrating with him and I really wanted all of that so I’m really glad I get to experience that," said Hansen.
His playing partner Laporta birdied the seventh, 11th and 13th holes but rolled his birdie chance agonisingly past the cup on the last to finish one short in a tie for second with Wiesberger, who had set the clubhouse target of twenty-two-under-par with a round of 65.
Hansen needed a victory to secure his place in next week’s season-ending Rolex Series event, the DP World Tour Championship on the neighbouring Earth Course, rising 42 places from 85th position to 43rd on the Race to Dubai Rankings in partnership with Rolex.
He also extended Denmark’s success in 2021, joining compatriots Rasmus Højgaard (Omega European Masters) Nicolai Højgaard (DS Automobiles Italian Open) and Jeff Winther (Mallorca Golf Open) as a winner on the European Tour this year, while Marcus Helligkilde topped the Challenge Tour’s Road to Mallorca rankings.
Englishman Andy Sullivan produced a remarkable finish – picking up seven shots in his final six holes, including an eagle on the last - in a round of 65 to finish three back on twenty-under-par, which looked to have secured his spot in the all-important top 54 on the Race to Dubai and qualify for the DP World Tour Championship.
However, Thailand’s Jazz Janewattananond also eagled the last for a round of 67 to join him on that mark, which meant Sullivan dropped to 55th position and missed out by one Race to Dubai point, and ultimately, by one place.