Despite missing the cut last week at the DP World Tour’s Hero Dubai Desert Classic, Abraham Ancer said he found something late in that second round.
“I felt really good that day,” Ancer said looking back. “I just brought it here this week.”
And on Sunday, Ancer turned those feelings into a trophy, outdueling Cameron Young to win the Asian Tour’s PIF Saudi International by two shots.
Ancer, who hadn’t won anywhere since the 2021 WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational, led Young by as many shots through 54 holes while Young was five clear of the next closest competitor.
“I kept telling myself, just imagine if I was in like 20th place and just got to go out there and shoot a low one,” Ancer said.
While Young pulled even with Ancer after carding four birdies in his first seven holes, Ancer used a birdie make at the par-3 eighth to pull ahead for good.
“That was huge,” Ancer said of the putt. “The middle of that front nine, I didn’t hit a couple of good tee balls. One went way right, one short and left. Out here you hit it short and crooked, it’s not very good. But I was able to scramble really well. I hit some really good chip shots when I hit a couple of bad second shots. So, that was huge. Making that putt on 8 was humongous for the round. It really helped me because, yeah, he’s an unbelievable player. He pounds the golf ball, and he does everything really good.
“So, I knew I needed to stay calm. I couldn’t make any mistakes, and hopefully – I mean, it worked out.”
When it came to mistakes, Ancer only carded two bogeys all week.
“With the wind blowing as hard as it was, that’s, one, tremendous control of your golf ball, and two, I think just a lot of mental toughness,” said Young, who birdied two of his last three holes, though they came after a costly double bogey at the par-4 15th.
Ancer parred each hole on the back nine to shoot 2-under 68, a score matched by Young, and finish at 19 under. Lucas Herbert was third at 15 under followed by Sadom Kaewkanjana (14 under) and Paul Casey (13 under).
The victory marked Ancer’s fourth worldwide win professionally. He is also expected to jump nearly inside the top 25 of the world rankings, from No. 37.
As for Young, any questions about his upcoming schedule were answered.
“I’ve got Waste Management next week,” he said, “and then Riviera, and then Arnold Palmer, and Players. I’ve got a really nice stretch of golf lined up.”