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Golf: Shane Lowry wins Abu Dhabi Championship on final hole

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Shane Lowry watches a drive during the final round of the Abu Dhabi Championship on Jan. 19.
(Karim Sahib / AFP/Getty Images)

Shane Lowry won the Abu Dhabi Championship on Saturday, battling back from four shots down and sealing the victory with a birdie on the final hole.

The 31-year-old Lowry claimed his fourth European Tour title with a one-shot victory over South African Richard Sterne.

Lowry had an overnight lead of three shots but that was quickly wiped out as the Irishman faltered while Sterne (69) played the first nine holes in 31 and was four in front after 11.

Lowry got closer with birdies on the 12th and 13th, and the pair were tied on the 18th tee. But Sterne’s approach to the green was off-target and Lowry sank a birdie for a one-under-par 71. Lowry finished at 18-under 270 overall to clinch his first win since 2015 at the WGC Bridgestone Invitational.

“I completely thought I was gone, to be honest,” Lowry told Sky Sports of falling four shots behind with seven holes to play. “I just tried to put him under as much pressure as I could. But I didn’t think I had that in me today.”

The wire-to-wire victory for Lowry, who tied the course record with a 62 in the first round, will lift him back into the world’s top 50 and get him into golf’s showpiece events in 2019.

He is back playing on the European Tour after losing his U.S. PGA Tour card last year and slipping to No. 75 in the rankings.