Dubai Desert Classic: Stephen Gallacher retains title

Stephen Gallacher came back from a poor front nine to retain his Dubai Desert Classic title, making history as the first golfer to do so at the event.

There was tough competition from Emiliano Grillo. Gallacher entered the final day with a two-shot lead over the resurgent Rory McIlroy but smacked four bogeys in his first nine holes to fall short of the lead.

The 39-year-old then managed four birdies on the back nine to see him move back to the top and a round of 72 gave him a finish of 16 under.

Grillo ended one off the lead after a 66, while McIlroy shot a 74 to finish four shots back.

World number one Tiger Woods carded a final round of 71 to finish tied for 41 on six under, having a game to forget.

Speaking to Sky Sports after the game, Gallacher said: "It took everything I had after the start.

"It was the plague of the front nine again.”

"I was quite fortunate that nobody was running away with it so I just tried to hit one shot at a time and stay in it. When I holed a nice putt on 11, I thought I was back in with a chance and then I had three birdies from there in."

The impressive victory earned Gallacher over £250,000 as well as a place at The Masters for the first time in his career – while also moving the Scot into the top 40 of the world rankings – also for the first time.