Zimbabwe-born Crocker impresses in Dubai Invitational

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Zimbabwe-born American golfer Sean Crocker got his 2024 season on the DP World Tour off to a solid start following a tie for sixth position in the Dubai Invitational played out at Dubai Creek Resort in the UAE on Sunday.

Harare-born Crocker is the son of former Zimbabwe cricket international Gary Crocker and was born in Harare before relocating to the US with his family at the age of five.

The 27-year-old rising star carded rounds of 66-70-65-66 for a tournament total of 14-under par.

Crocker, who is a one-time winner on the DP World Tour finished five shots behind the eventual winner, Englishman Tommy Fleetwood, who produced a stunning birdie-birdie finish to hold off the challenge of Rory McIlroy and Thriston Lawrence.

South African Lawrence finished alongside McIlroy at 18 under, two clear of England’s Jordan Smith and three ahead of 2018 Open Champion Francesco Molinari.

The victory is Fleetwood’s third in the United Arab Emirates after claiming two wins in Abu Dhabi and follows a second-place finish at the 2023 season-ending DP World Tour Championship.

A first win since the 2022 Nedbank Golf Challenge also moves Fleetwood to the top of the International Swing Rankings, to fourth in the Race to Dubai Rankings in Partnership with Rolex and could take him as high as 11th in the Official World Golf Ranking.

“I’m very happy,” said Dubai resident Fleetwood. “It was amazing winning. Like almost everybody else in the world of golf, I don’t win anywhere near as much as I would like to but just that winning feeling is great.

“This is obviously where I live and have a lot of support. It’s great to kick off the year with a great result and push on from here.

“I feel like I’ve been saying for a long time that I’ve been doing a lot of really great things. I have amazing people that I’m working with, win, lose or draw today. Next week will be the same. We just crack on and we keep pushing forward and hopefully keep moving in the right direction.

“I was very happy with the way I played today for the large majority of the round, felt like I didn’t hole some of the putts that I wanted to.

“I just stayed patient and kept playing. I knew I was playing very, very well, and even the last two holes, played 17 and 18 great.”

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