Rory Sabbatini triumph in Florida brings extra rewards

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The Independent Online

South African Rory Sabbatini has a sixth PGA Tour title to his name - and with it places in this week's world championship and next month's Masters.

Two years on from his last victory and less than three months since he underwent skin cancer surgery, the 34-year-old last night captured the Honda Classic in Florida by a stroke from Korean YE Yang.

Sabbatini, who had fallen outside the world's top 100, qualifies for the Cadillac Championship starting in Miami on Thursday by climbing into the PGA Tour's top 10 this season.

The former World Cup winner, joint runner-up at Augusta four years ago, said: "To me every win is special and this one definitely is - there's been a lot that's occurred since my last one."

As well as his own health scare, Sabbatini's wife Amy had a tough time delivering their third child six months ago and was in intensive care for a while.

He is not the only player heading to Doral in high spirits. Graeme McDowell equalled the course record with a closing 64 and charged through the field from 30th to joint sixth.

That makes it seven top 10 finishes in his last eight starts for Northern Ireland's US Open champion.

McDowell remains fourth in the world, though, as Luke Donald followed up his World Match Play victory with a tie for 10th, also keeping a bogey off his card as he rounded off his week with a 66.

Lee Westwood was unable to regain the world number one spot off Martin Kaymer, coming 29th when he needed to be in the top three, while Ian Poulter was 36th and Rory McIlroy down in 70th spot after a miserable 77-75 weekend.

Sabbatini led by five with 10 to play, but had that cut to one by Yang before he birdied the 16th from 16 feet just before a brief stoppage because of a thunderstorm.

"After the 15th I realised I needed to put a bit of pressure back on 'YE', but converting the putt there was a huge bonus," he admitted.