ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates – Tiger Woods falters and Robert Rock wins the Abu Dhabi Tournament held last Sunday, January 29, 2012 at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship. Rock biggest wins of his career, beating U.S. champion Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods.
According to the reports of several international news sites, the 117th-ranked Rock shot a two-under 70 for an overall 13-under 275 to beat the 22-year Northern Irishman by a shot and the 14-time major winner by two. Tiger Woods finished in a tie for third with Thomas Bjorn (68) and Graeme McDowell (68).
“I didn’t hit the ball as well as I would like to,” Woods said. “Today I was just a touch off. I was righting the ball through the fairways. I was hitting the ball a little bit further than I thought I would So something to look at, and something to try and figure out.”
Reports added that Woods acknowledged it wasn’t the way he wanted to start the 2012 season but said he took solace from the control he showed the first three days and the putts he made over the final three days. He missed out on his 84th win and the fifth time in nine years to open the season with a victory.
“Obviously the ultimate goal is to win and I didn’t win,” Woods said.
“I hit the ball good enough to win the golf tournament this week,” he said. “Today I just didn’t give myself enough looks at it. Most of my putts were lag putts. I didn’t drive the ball in as many fairways as I should have. Some of the balls were running through. Other balls, I was just missing. It was a day I was just a touch off of the tee and consequently I couldn’t get the ball close enough to give myself looks.”
Meanwhile, Rock was presented with the new ‘Falcon‘ trophy in front of packed grandstands by His Highness Sheikh Sultan Bin Tahnoon Al Nahyan, Chairman of Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority (ADTA). Officials from the Authority also revealed the Championship had exceeded its target by welcoming 82,000 spectators which is more than double the record set last year.
“This win is special,” said Rock. “It’s such a big tournament, with a huge field and to play with Tiger today was something that I’ll never forget. It’s pretty hard to believe that I managed to win; I’m very surprised. It’s difficult playing with Tiger – you expect almost every shot to threaten to go in. I felt a lot of pressure and couldn’t afford any lapses in concentration at all. It was a lot of work, but I am very happy now.”