England’s Charley Hull held her nerve to claim a one-stroke victory at the Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies Open in Abu Dhabi.
The 22-year-old from Kettering, the overnight leader, faced a battle with fellow English Solheim Cup player Jodi Ewart Shadoff, who dropped out of contention with two bogeys over the final three holes at Saadiyat Beach Golf Club.
Hull, ranked 24 in the world, had earlier seen her slender one-stroke advantage disappear following dropped shots at the third and the par-four 10th in the warm and breezy conditions.
However, an eagle at the par-five next pulled her back and victory was secured when she chipped out of the bunker on the 18th, putting to save par and sign for a 69, eight under for the tournament.
Norway’s Marianne Skarpnord took second place after a round of 68, missing a birdie chance at the last.
Shadoff, chasing a first Ladies European Tour title, moved into a share of the lead on the 14th after a run of birdies, but in the end had to settle for a five-way share of third place, five shots off the winner, following a one-over 73.
Hull, winner of the Order of Merit in 2014, was glad to have made such an impact at the start of the new campaign.
“Hopefully I can get a few more wins this year and I’ve been practising really hard so it shows that my hard work is paying off,” the Englishwoman said.
“I’m very happy with my round. I left a lot of putts out there today, but it’s hard to putt when it’s windy like this.
“It was quite tricky (on the 18th) and I made the putt, so it feels really good to be back in the winner’s circle again.”