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Published: 17:37 | 24/1/16

Fowler holds nerve for Abu Dhabi glory

American climbs to fourth in world rankings

Rickie Fowler carded a final round 69 to win the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship by a single shot from Belgium's Thomas Pieters, with Rory McIlroy and Henrik Stenson a shot further back in third.

The American, so often the nearly man at big events, held his nerve to beat all comers after taking a two-shot lead into the final round and now climbs to fourth in the world rankings.

Fowler posted a bogey-free seven-under 65 after being forced to complete his third round on Sunday morning and then returned a three-under 69 to finish with a -16 aggregate.

It was an up and down day for Fowler who, after birdying the first two holes, posted a double-bogey on the seventh.

However, he responded with an eagle on the next after holing out from a greenside bunker.

But a run of eight straight pars saw the field get closer before a birdie on 17 saw him restore his two-shot advantage.

Pieters was agonisingly close with his eagle attempt at the last which would have forced a play-off as Fowler holed out for par to take the title.

Rory McIlroy recovered from a poor start to his final round to post a four-under 68, playing the last seven holes in five under, including an eagle from 35 feet on the last.

"We had a very strong field and not just Rory and Jordan, but also Henrik and down the line. It was a packed leaderboard at the top," Fowler said afterwards.

"It feels great to come here and win my first full-field event of 26. This is a great way to start and a step in the right direction."

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