Jason Scrivener has bounced back from a disastrous start to finish inside the top-20 at the European Tour’s season-opening Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship at Abu Dhabi Golf Club in the United Arab Emirates.
Bogeys at three of his first five holes was not how the West Australian would have wanted to start his 2019 campaign but 18 birdies and six bogeys over his following 67 holes saw Scrivener steadily climb the leaderboard, ultimately finishing tied for 16th.
It took a stunning comeback of his own for Irishman Shane Lowry to register his first win in four years, Lowry falling four behind South African Richard Sterne in the final round before making a birdie at the 72nd hole to win by one stroke.
The 18th hole also provided Scrivener’s first birdie of the week after he started the first round from the 10th tee, a second round of 65 the equal best score of the day as he comfortably qualified for the weekend.
There was another slight stumble in the third round with a 2-over 74 but a round of 68 to close out the tournament lifted him 18 places up the leaderboard to be the leading Australian.
The cheque for €78,351 will come in particularly handy given Scrivener proposed to girlfriend Simone over the Christmas break.
There was an even greater final-round surge from Queensland’s Scott Hend who delivered one of the best rounds of the day – a 5-under 67 – to rocket 31 places up the leaderboard and a tie for 27th.
Despite a bogey on his opening hole of the tournament New Zealand’s Ryan Fox bounced back with birdies at four of his next five holes but was unable to maintain that cracking pace, finishing alongside Hend in a tie for 27th.
The ‘Fox Tracker’ was heating up when Fox registered birdies at the second and third holes in the final round but bogeys at 11, 14 and 16 kept the Kiwi from making more of an impression.
A consistent week of scoring saw Sam Brazel finish tied for 42nd while Lucas Herbert’s second round of 7-under 65 was the highlight as he ended the week 3-under and tied for 54th.
The European Tour now moves on to Dubai for the Omega Dubai Desert Classic at the Emirates Golf Club.
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