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Garcia holds off challenge of Stenson to take Desert Classic

By Phil Casey

Spain's Sergio Garcia moved back into the top 10 in the world after leading from start to finish to claim his 12th European Tour title, and first for three years, in the Omega Dubai Desert Classic.

Garcia carded a flawless closing 69 at Emirates Golf Club to finish 19 under par, three shots clear of Ryder Cup team-mate Henrik Stenson.

The 37-year-old began the day with a three-shot lead and rarely looked threatened before responding superbly when Stenson finally closed the gap to two with a birdie on the 14th.

With the Open champion firing his tee shot on the next over the green on his way to a bogey, Garcia's stunning approach to two feet set up a birdie and two-shot swing to give him breathing space.

Stenson birdied the last to complete a 69 and finish 16 under par, two shots ahead of England's Tyrrell Hatton and Denmark's Lasse Jensen. Ian Poulter, who was in the final group alongside Stenson and Garcia, struggled to a closing 76 to finish tied 15th.

"It was great but it was tough," said Garcia, whose previous win on the European Tour also came in the desert in Qatar in 2014, although he won on the PGA Tour last season.

"I think it was tighter than everybody thought but I'm very happy to play the way I played and with some of the key moments, the way I handled them.

"It's great to beat Henrik - we all know what a great player he is."

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