A superb final round of six under par 66 gives Padraig a share of fifth place with a seventeen under par total. It was a pleasing start to the 2009 season as he builds up to the first Major of the year. Five birdies in his first eight holes gave Padraig the start he needed in the final round but a bogie five on the tough par four 9th hole put paid to any chance he had of winning. Five pars followed while all around him were making birdies in the calm conditions but to his credit he birdied two of the last four holes to haul himself up the leaderboard. Paul Casey won the event with a twenty one under par total. Padraig now has a couple of weeks off before returning to play on the USPGA Tour.
A bogie free third round of four under par 68 sees Padraig lose ground at the Abu Dhabi Golf Championships. His eleven under par total is only good enough to give him a share of 8th place and a whopping eight shots behind the leader, Paul Casey, who is on an incredible nineteen under par for 54 holes. Padraig played lovely golf to be out in three under par but the birdies dried up as he made nine straight pars before a making a birdie four on the par five finishing hole. He will be hoping for more of the same game on Sunday with a few less putts!
A sparkling second round of six under par 66 sees Padraig finish in darkness but smiling as he starts the weekend at seven under par and only four shots behind the leaders. Three under par after six holes promised much and he picked up another couple of shots around the turn as he birdied the par five 10th and hit it close on the par three 12th hole. A wayward drive on the par four 16th hole which found sand cost him his only bogie of the day but he hit back with birdies on the last two holes as his threeball jogged the last few holes to finish before the evening dusk stopped play!.
A pleasing start to 2009 for Padraig as he opens with a one under par 71 at the rain delayed Abu Dhabi Golf Championships. Ten straight pars opened his round before he struck his first birdie of 2009 at the par 5 second hole (his eleventh). A dropped shot at his 15th hole where he found a greenside bunker was immediately wiped out with a deuce at the par 3 seventh hole. Two pars to finish left him reasonably happy with his play. He felt he scrambled well and holed some nice putts but under cluubed a couple of times. All in all something to work on for his second round which tees off late on friday afternoon. Six under par leads the tournament at the moment.
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Padraig is back on the European Tour where a top class field tee off this week at the Abu Dhabi Golf Championships in the United Arab Emirates. The current Open and USPGA champion has risen to a career high number 3 in the world rankings and is looking for a fast start to the season as the Race to Dubai hots up. It is a course that he likes as he explained at his press conference, “I’ve done quite nicely in Abu Dhabi, I like the course and I do feel it’s one I’m competitive on. I am focusing hard on my preparation and I think I’ll be ready with my ‘A’ game. This year I’ll be good to go. I believe Abu Dhabi is moving in the right direction in terms of golfing excellence. The standard of the National course is top-class - the conditions are as good as they can be and the course is a joy to play.” Germanys young star Martin Kaymer is the defending champion and the prize fund is two million dollars. Padraig tees off in round one at 7.50am local time (+4 hours GMT) with Martin Kaymer and Ryder Cup partner and good friend, Henrik Stenson.