Sunday, 7 February 2016

A Classic Dubai Desert Classic

The Dubai Desert Classic certainly didn't disappoint.  It was a real nail-biter, with the chasing pack, including Rory and Stenson, making birdies in bunches.  The leaders were forced to scramble and hang on.  You have to love it when it all comes down to one putt--and a putt made, rather than one missed.

Danny Willett was able to dig deep and hole a birdie putt on the final hole for the win.  Cabrera-Bello had an eagle chance that just slipped by on eighteen that would have gotten him into a playoff.  And Andy Sullivan made a great birdie himself on eighteen to give himself a chance.  He could only wait and watch as Willett made the putt that ended his challenge.

All three players will surely feel very good about how hard they fought.  Danny Willett definitely won it.  Nobody lost it.  With back-to-back runner up finishes, you have to believe it will be only a matter of time before Cabrera-Bello breaks through for another win.  You also have to think his strong finish, with birdies on seventeen and eighteen, also starts to make a case for Ryder Cup consideration.

Sullivan and Willett, both twenty-somethings, must be considered to be the future of English golf, perhaps along with young Matthew Fitzpatrick.  And an exciting pair they are to watch.  I suspect they will become Ryder Cup stalwarts.

I think the one thing Andy Sullivan may take away from the past couple of weeks is that he needs to work on developing a reliable draw, especially from the tee.  Under pressure he seems to be prone to pulling his tee shots, unable to execute his preferred fade, and finds himself missing it left.  But, under pressure, he also has proven that he has the heart of a lion.  He promises to only get better.

As for Danny Willett; he is now officially a world class player.