Martin Kaymer was a dazed man after he handed the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship title to world No. 357 Gary Stal on Sunday.
Germany's Kaymer, the three-time winner of the Abu Dhabi Championship seemed confident that the fourth Abu Dhabi Falcon Trophy would be his, but it was not to be, as the tournament was full of surprises.
Kaymer began well in the final round of the tournament at the beautiful setting of the Abu Dhabi Golf Club. From six shots ahead, he rapidly fired in three birdies in the opening four holes to quickly increase his advantage to ten strokes. However, some unruly approach play proved destructive to his chances and he was forced to take two penalty drops which cost him the title. He also did not make many putts, missed a lot of them and was not good in making birdies.
The US Open Champion eventually finished third behind Stal and Rory McIlroy - with a three-over-par 75 - and admitted afterwards he was struggling to comprehend his spectacular collapse. The Frenchman carded a 65 to reach 19 under and win by one, ahead of Rory McIlroy who came second after a 66.
Someone was smiling on Stal on the last day, as he was eight shots behind going into the final round but birdied six of his first 11 holes to win his first ever European Tour title.
McIlroy began his final day eight shots behind Kaymer, but his hopes were rising after he had three consecutive birdies from the eighth hole and more at the 13th and 15th. However, he could not beat the Frenchman.
The 22-year-old Stal was overwhelmed with the win. His previous best performance was fifth at last week's South African Open Championship.
Stal first played on the Challenge Tour in 2012 and won his first event in 2012 at the Karnten Golf Open. He has leapt between tours since but is now in strong shape after the Abu Dhabi win. After this title he has got an exemption for the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational and from there the doors are open for him to play at any prestigious tournament.
Many will remember the 2015 Abu Dhabi Championship and Gary Stal's dramatic title win. #Celebrities