It was the Belgium flag that flew over Yas Links as Thomas Pieters claimed the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship title on Sunday over the feisty Yas Links course.
Pieters held on to take the first Rolex Series title of the year and romp to the top of the DP World Tour rankings.
The Belgian was steady and true and his one birdie wiped out a lone bogey to take the title on 10-under after a stormy week.
It was almost a day in the sun for Dubai’s Rafa Cabrera Bello, but he came up short — on eight-under, two behind the leader, who could not be caught and accepted second alongside India’s Shubhankar Sharma.
Viktor Hovland, the world No. 7, did all he could to reel in the Belgian but came wp short and finished fourth alongside namesake from France Victor Dubuisson.
Ian Poulter finished tied sixth alongside Jeff Winther, James Morrison and defending champion Tyrrell Hatton.
Scotland’s Scott Jamieson, who had led since day one, saw his game fall apart with five bogeys on the front nine and he had to settle for a nasty 77.
Round of the day went to none other than Rory McIlroy as the four-time major winner — who just made the cut on Saturday morning following an anxious wait for the late finishers from the second round. He shot an astounding six birdies and an eagle to flirt with the lead before he floundered with three late bogeys.
Another Dubai boy, Adri Arnaus would have been wondering what might have been after a seven on the last denied him a chance to break the course record and he signed for a 65. Jamieson shot a 63 on Thursday to set the tournament and course mark on Yas Links.