Golf roundup: Phil Mickelson, Rory McIlroy slip up

Larrazabal takes Abu Dhabi title

Patrick Reed is pumped after draining a birdie putt on No.  15 that helped cement his win in the Humana Challenge.
jeff gross/getty images
Patrick Reed is pumped after draining a birdie putt on No. 15 that helped cement his win in the Humana Challenge.

Pablo Larrazabal fended off challenges by Phil Mickelson and Rory McIlroy to end a near three-year winless drought to capture the Abu Dhabi Championship in the United Arab Emirates on Sunday.

Larrazabal, 30, shot a final-round 67 and won by a stroke with a 14-under-par 274 on the National Course in the UAE capital.

McIlroy (68), who had incurred a two-stroke penalty in the third round, finished with a share of second place with Micklelson (69) at 13 under.


‘‘It means a lot to win my third victory on Tour and playing against who I played today,’’ said Larrazabal. ‘‘Of course, I play against myself but I knew who I also had behind me in Mickelson. I have just beaten two of the three most talented guys in my era, and in the last era, as well in Phil Mickelson and Rory.’’

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Mickelson was left counting the cost of incurring a shot penalty after a double hit while playing from the brush on the 13th hole. The British Open champion, who was leading at the time, finished the hole with a triple-bogey seven.

‘‘It happens, it happens but it never crossed my mind I might double-hit it,’’ Mickelson said. ‘‘I was just trying to dribble it out of the bush because I couldn’t get the unplayable penalty lie to give me a shot without stroke and distance and I felt it was worth the risk. It not only cost a penalty shot, but it also stopped the ball from going to a spot where I could hit again.

‘‘So after that I got refocused and got aggressive and made some birdies and gave myself a chance. If Pablo had not birdied the last hole to win, I would have gotten into a playoff, and so I give him a lot of credit for finishing the tournament off the right way.’’

McIlroy had been penalized for illegally brushing sand off his line on the final day of the 2012 event before losing by a stroke to England’s Robert Rock.


On Saturday, McIlroy was slapped with a two-shot penalty after being reported by the caddy of another player in not taking full relief — one foot was still on the spectator crosswalk.

‘‘I can’t describe how frustrating it is and feeling like I should be standing here at 15 under par for the tournament and winning by one,’’ McIlroy said. ‘‘It is a very positive start to the season so I’m not to let one little negative ruin that.

Larrazabal moved into seventh place in the Race to Dubai and to 12th on the European Ryder Cup Team points table.

As well, the current World No. 103 ranked player should move inside the top 64 on the rankings when they are adjusted Monday and that will guarantee the Spaniard a first-ever place in next month’s Match Play Championship in Arizona.

PGA — After shooting three straight 9-under 63s to open a seven-stroke lead, Patrick Reed shot 1-under 71 in the fourth round, but it was enough to beat Ryan Palmer by two strokes and win the Humana Challenge in La Quinta, Calif.


Reed ran in an 18-footer for birdie on the par-3 15th to push his advantage to three strokes and parred the final three holes. He completed the wire-to-wire victory at 28-under 260.

The 23-year-old Reed has two victories in his first 46 tour starts, winning the Wyndham Championship in a playoff in August. He was projected to jump from 73d to 42d in the world ranking, enough to lock up a spot next month in the 64-man Match Play Championship field.

Palmer made a 15-foot eagle putt on the final hole for a 63.

Zach Johnson and Justin Leonard tied for third at 25 under. Johnson birdied the final five holes for a 62, the best round of the week. Leonard parred his last two for a 65.

Other than key 18-footer on No. 15, the longest putt Reed holed was a 5-footer for a par save on the par-4 13th. That also was a crucial putt after he played the previous eight holes in 1 over with four bogeys, three birdies, and a par.

In that eight-hole stretch, Todd missed two 6-foot par putts and an 8-footer and dropped another stroke with a poor bunker shot on the 12th.

Champions — Bernhard Langer fired an 8-under 64 to capture the Mitsubishi Electric Championship in Ka’upulehu-Kona, Hawaii, by three shots over Jeff Sluman (65) and Fred Couples (67).

Langer finished at 22-under 194 in the tour’s season-opening event.