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Stal profits as Kaymer throws away giant lead

Gary Stal profited from Martin Kaymer's extraordinary collapse to win the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship.

Kaymer carried a six-shot lead going into Sunday's final round and extended his advantage to eight shots after birdies at three of his first four holes, but it went downhill fast for the three-time winner soon after.

A bogey at the sixth hole, a double bogey at the ninth and a triple bogey at the 13th led to the German's demise and, although Kaymer stopped the rot with five successive pars, he ran out of holes with which to recover.

The reigning US Open champion - a winner of this tournament in 2008, 2010 and 2011 - drove into the bunker on the 18th hole and although he recovered with some fine approach play he missed his birdie putt to cap off a miserable day at the Abu Dhabi Golf Course.

That meant Kaymer finished on 17 under overall - his error-strewn three-over-par 75 the joint worst of the day with England's Andy Sullivan.

Kaymer's remarkable slump allowed Stal to pounce and the 22-year-old Frenchman promptly took the lead after Kaymer's triple bogey thanks to six birdies in his first 11 holes.

After parring the first three holes, Stal picked up shots at the fourth and six before reeling off four successive birdies to the 11th hole to move two clear at the top of the leaderboard.

Four pars followed before Stal birdied the par-four 16th and finished with two pars to finish with a seven-under 65 for the day - one shot clear of world number one Rory McIlroy, who carded a final-round 66 to finish with a flurry and claim the runners-up spot.

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Rory McIlroy named Tour Golfer of the Year

McIlroy has enjoyed a stunning year. Credit: PA

Rory McIlroy has been named the 2014 Race to Dubai European Tour Golfer of the Year after a stunning season on both sides of the Atlantic.

The 25-year-old also won the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational and the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth, and adds the honour to the Golf Writers Trophy he was awarded last week.

"To be named the European Tour's Golfer of the Year for a second time is a huge honour and one I am extremely proud of," he said.

"If I had won any one of those four titles it would have been a good year, but to win all four, to win The Race to Dubai, and to be part of another fantastic European victory in The Ryder Cup, means it is a great one.

"This award is a very nice way to round off the year. The European Tour has always been good to me, so it is always special to be recognised in this way. Hopefully I can have more years like this one and win the award again."

Rory McIlroy secures 2014 Golf Writers Trophy

McIlroy has enjoyed a stunning year. Credit: PA

World number one Rory McIlroy has won the Golf Writers Trophy for the second time in three years following a stunning season that saw him claim two major championships and play a leading role in Europe's Ryder Cup victory.

In to the 25 year-old's victories in the Open Championship and the US PGA Championship, McIlroy also won the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational and the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth.

"I'd like to say a huge thank you to the members of the Association of Golf Writers who have felt me worthy to receive this honour, I really do appreciate it," he said.

"To win it for the first time in 2012 felt like a great achievement but to win again in 2014 is testimony to what has been a truly fabulous year for me."

Woods slams 'grudge-fuelled' satirical interview

Woods has only helped draw attention to the article. Credit: PA

Almost five years on from the car crash which precipitated his fall from grace, Tiger Woods looks to have committed another major PR blunder with his attack on veteran journalist Dan Jenkins.

Jenkins wrote a parody interview in the December issue of Golf Digest magazine headlined "My (Fake) Interview With Tiger", with a subheading of "Or how it plays out in my mind".

Woods certainly does not see the joke, labelling it a "a grudge-fuelled piece of character assassination".

But despite starting his complaint on theplayerstribune.com by hoping that people had not read the article in question, all the 14-time major winner has done is ensure that thousands, if not millions, who had absolutely no intention of doing so, will do so now.

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McIlroy crowned PGA Tour Player of the Year

McIlroy enjoys Sunday's Ryder Cup victory. Credit: Reuters

World number one Rory McIlroy has been voted PGA Tour player of the year for the second time in three seasons.

McIlroy won the Open Championship, WGC-Bridgestone Invitational and US PGA Championship in consecutive appearances and did not finish outside the top 25 in any of his 17 PGA Tour events in 2014.

The 25-year-old had already claimed the Arnold Palmer Award as the tour's leading official money winner (£5.1million) and won the Byron Nelson Award for adjusted scoring average (68.83).

McIlroy clinched the Open Championship in July 2014. Credit: PA

"It means a lot to win it for the second time in three years," McIlroy said. "Being voted player of the year by your peers is something that's very important.

"They are the guys you are trying to beat week in, week out and if they appreciate what you have done over the year, see the hard work that you've put in and the golf that you've played and think that's been the best of the season that means a lot to me.

"I would like to win a lot more in my career and even though the last year wasn't what I wanted, the last three or four years have been very, very good and it gives me even more motivation to go on and work harder and try to win more tournaments, more majors and be involved in more Ryder Cups like last week."

Europe players celebrate after Ryder Cup victory

Europe's captain Paul McGinley holds the Ryder Cup. Credit: Lynne Cameron/PA Wire

Europe's players have been celebrating after an emphatic victory over the USA in the Ryder Cup.

Jamie Donaldson celebrates after winning the 40th Ryder Cup at Gleneagles Credit: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire

Welshman Jamie Donaldson sealed the triumph with a 5 & 3 win over Keegan Bradley.

Players including Ian Poulter celebrate on the 18th hole. Credit: David Davies/PA Wire.
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