Perez wins in Abu Dhabi for 3rd and biggest title of career


ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Victor Perez won the Abu Dhabi Championship by one stroke on Sunday for the third and biggest European tour title of his career, with the Frenchman’s 6-under 66 in the final round capped by holing a bunker shot at No. 17.

Perez led by one when he sent his tee shot on the 17th hole short and into a greenside bunker. His second shot went about 10 feet beyond the cup and span back into it, leading to Perez leaping out of the sand and chest-bumping his caddie.

A bogey at the last — when he drove into a bunker and hit his second shot nearly into water — was enough for the 30-year-old Perez to claim a winner’s check of $1.53 million at one of the tour’s top events and strengthen his chances of playing for Europe at this year’s Ryder Cup outside Rome.

His previous wins on the tour came at the Dunhill Links Championship in 2019 and the Dutch Open in May last year.

Perez finished on 18 under par for the tournament, with Sebastian Soderberg (67) and Min Woo Lee (68) tied for second place.

Lee almost dramatically forced a playoff when his third shot at the par-5 18th rolled back and nearly dropped into the cup for eagle.


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