The Spaniard closed with a bogey-free 69 to beat Henrik Stenson by three for his 12th European Tour title

Sergio Garcia Dominates Dubai Desert Classic

Sergio Garcia is back in the world’s top 10 for the first time since June 2015 after winning the Dubai Desert Classic wire-to-wire.

The Spaniard, who led since day one after an opening seven-under 65, shot a closing 69 to beat Henrik Stenson by three shots at 19-under-par.

Garcia began the day three clear of the 2016 Open Champion and hit it to four feet on the first to start with a birdie.

The Swede came close to Garcia on the back nine with birdies on both 13 and 14 but Garcia closed the door with a stunning birdie 2 at the 15th.

His tee shot came to rest no further than two feet away, making for the easiest of birdies.

He came to the 18th tee with a four-stroke lead and tapped in for par for a three shot victory.

Garcia said, “I’m very happy to play the way I played.

“The way I handled some of the key moments and to beat Henrik, we all now how great a player he is.”

Related: 2017 European Tour Schedule

Current Race to Dubai champion Stenson moves up to third in the Official World Golf Ranking.

England’s Tyrrell Hatton finished five back in a tie for third with Denmark’s Lasse Jensen, Matt Fitzpatrick was two shots further back in fifth.

Dubai Desert Classic Talking Points:

1 – New world number nine Sergio Garcia is a winner again for the first time on the European Tour since the 2014 Qatar Masters. This win was his first worldwide since the 2016 HP Byron Nelson Classic on the PGA Tour in May.

2 – Tyrrell Hatton moves up to a career-high 19th in the Official World Golf Ranking with his T3rd finish. He is now the ninth-highest ranked European and will be fully focused on qualifying for the 2020 Ryder Cup at Le Golf National in Paris.

3 – Ian Poulter ended in a tie for 15th and is making good progress after his foot injury which kept him out of the 2016 Ryder Cup. It’s Poults’ best finish since the 2016 Puerto Rico Open in March.

Related: Tiger Woods pulls out of Dubai Desert Classi with back problems

Venue: Emirates GC, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Date: Feb 2-5
Course stats: par 72, 7,328 yards
Purse: €2,400,000

1 Sergio Garcia (Esp) 65 67 68 69 269 €410,224

2 Henrik Stenson (Swe) 68 68 67 69 272 €273, 483

3 Tyrrell Hatton (Eng) 72 70 65 67 274 €138,576

3 Lasse Jensen (Den) 69 70 70 65 274 €138, 576

5 Matt Fitzpatrick (Eng) 69 72 68 67 276 €95, 256

5 Peter Uihlein (USA) 69 68 70 69 276 €95, 256

7 George Coetzee (RSA) 66 70 70 71 277 €67, 688

7 Brandon Stone (RSA) 70 69 70 68 277 €67, 688

9 Magnus A Carlsson (Swe) 71 68 71 68 278 €52, 181

9 Stephen Gallacher (Sco) 72 71 69 66 278 €52, 181

Note: Player score in bold signifies Titleist ball usage