Rafael Cabrera-Bello won the US$2.5 million Dubai Desert Classic yesterday, shooting a four-under 68 to beat Lee Westwood and Stephen Gallacher by one shot for only his second European Tour victory.
It appeared to be Westwood’s tournament to win as the third-ranked Englishman took a one-shot lead over Cabrera-Bello, 27, into the final round. However, after making a 35 foot eagle putt on the second to go up by two, Westwood struggled with his putting the rest of the way, missing several birdie chances on the back nine.
The 119th-ranked Spaniard birdied the 17th for the outright lead and then made a short par putt on 18 to finish with an 18-under total of 270.
His previous win was the 2009 Austrian Open.
On a tough windy day at the Majlis course of the Emirates Golf Club, Cabrera-Bello was bogey-free, while Westwood (70) had a chance to force a playoff, but could not make his up-and-down from the fringe on the par-five 18th hole. He then just missed a 25 foot birdie.
Scotsman Gallacher (69) also had a chance to tie, but missed a 15-footer for birdie.