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Daily Mirror
Daily Mirror
Ben Parsons

Victor Perez boosts Ryder Cup bid with 'best shot of his life' in dramatic Abu Dhabi Championship win

Victor Perez hit the 'greatest shot' of his life as he boosted his Ryder Cup hopes with the biggest win of his career in a dramatic finish at the Abu Dhabi Championship.

Perez emerged from a stacked leaderboard at the prestigious Rolex Series event to post a stunning six-under 66 and claim the title in a thrilling climax at Yas Links.

The Frenchman was in a congested group of 15 players within three shots of the lead before the final round - but produced a moment of magic on the 17th before surviving a late scare to prevail by one shot.

World No.111 Perez had grasped the lead as he held a narrow advantage over the chasing pack during an enthralling back-nine.

But the 30-year-old's chances of a third career win were in doubt as he found himself in trouble with a poor tee shot on the 200-yard par-3 17th.

Perez was precariously short and right in the greenside bunker, but he bravely flew his escape ten feet beyond the hole, spinning the ball back to drop in for the most sensational of birdie twos.

"It was the greatest shot I've ever hit," Perez said afterwards as he basked in glory.

But victory was far from ensured as he still had to see off playing partner Sebastian Soderberg and Aussie Min Woo Lee down the last with the tournament in the balance.

Perez found a nasty lie in a fairway bunker and closed out with a nervy bogey six on 18, but Swede Soderberg could only muster a par and Lee agonisingly missed out on the eagle that would have prolonged the drama with a play-off.

In front of the observing European captain Luke Donald, there was no better place for Perez to stake this claim as he put himself firmly inside the projected Ryder Cup qualification standings.

Perez was emotional as he lifted the Falcon Trophy (Getty Images)

"It's a great year ahead, there's a lot of big things coming up," Perez said, before being brought to tears as the magnitude of his finest achievement set in.

Dundee-based Perez secured 5,000 points on the European Ryder Cup Points list, with the duel against the USA on the outskirts of Rome now just eight months away.

And after missing out on the 2021 humiliation at Whistling Straights, his moment of inspiration at Yas Links is a huge boost in his bid to make his Ryder Cup debut come September.

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