Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship 2013: Day 4 Leaderboard Analysis and Recap

Adam WellsFeatured ColumnistJanuary 20, 2013

ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - JANUARY 20:  Jamie Donaldson of Wales hits his tee shot on the third hole during the final round of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship at Abu Dhabi Golf Club on January 20, 2013 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.  (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)
Scott Halleran/Getty Images

On the Abu Dhabi Golf Club course, there are low scores to be had. This year was no different as the top-five players had scores of 10 under or better. 

Jamie Donaldson parlayed a fantastic final round into his second-career European Tour victory. He entered the final round at 10 under, and then he kept the momentum going on his last 18 holes to finish with an overall score of 14-under par (four under in the final round).

The focus of the weekend started out with Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy, but both stars missed the cut—Woods in controversial fashion—which opened the door for the rest of the field to show the world that they were here. 

Here is a look at the final-round leaderboard at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship from Sunday.

 1  Jamie Donaldson  -14
 T2  Justin Rose  -13
 T2  Thorbjorn Olesen  -13
 4  Ricardo Santos  -11
 5  Branden Grace  -10
 T6  Joost Luiten  -9
 T6  Martin Kaymer  -9
 T6  David Howell  -9
 T9  Jason Dufner  -8
 T9  Jorge Campillo  -8

Full leaderboard can be found on EuropeanTour.com.


Analysis and Recap

Donaldson was incredible in the first round, setting the table for himself with a five-under 67. He played well enough in the middle rounds before turning things on late to capture his second European Tour championship. 

There was some drama late when Donaldson bogeyed the final hole to push his total to 14-under par. This opened the door for Justin Rose and Thorbjorn Olesen, but only if they could birdie the 18th hole. 

Rose came so close to forcing the playoff. His putt lipped out of the cup at the last possible second to secure the victory for Donaldson. 

Olesen missed a short putt on 18 that would have put him into a playoff. He finished the day with a three-under 69. 

Even though Donaldson came out victorious, the round of the day belonged to Branden Grace. The South African star shot a six-under 66 to finish in the top five. He also had four straight birdies from holes 15-18 to make a late charge up the leaderboard. 

Ultimately, though, this was Donaldson's event thanks to a strong final round. He took the lead for good on the 14th hole with a terrific birdie putt and never looked back. 

Donaldson's win secures his spot in The Masters this April for the first time in his career. That's quite a turnaround for a 37-year-old journeyman who lost his Tour card in 2006.