Larrazabal feels a sense of deja vu

Joy Chakravarty 00:53 21/01/2017
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Pablo Larrazabal, the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship winner in 2014, can feel the stars aligning themselves as he aims for his fifth European Tour win this Sunday.

The Spaniard, who says he did not take a break and worked hard on his game throughout the winter break, moved into contention at the halfway stage in Abu Dhabi following a round of five-under par 67. He was at nine-under par, three shots behind leader Martin Kaymer.

Obviously, he is getting good vibes from his win here, but there have been a couple of remarkable coincidences that is adding to his confidence.

In 2014, he was seven-under par for the par-3s after two rounds…and he has done the same this year as well. That year, he missed a putt on the second hole from exactly the same spot and to the same pin, as he did today.

After a round of six birdies and a solitary bogey, Larrazabal said: “I am very pleased. After a winter that I didn’t take any holidays, I’ve been working very hard; so to come here and play as good as I did, I am very proud.

“And three years ago, I made seven-under par on the par 3s on the first two days, and I did the same thing the last couple rounds. Seven-under par on the par 3s, it’s something special.

“I am hitting my irons well, and my driver and 3-wood are very good, as well. I’m in form. The only rusty part of my game is my chipping, believe it or not.

“I’m going to go to the chipping green now to see if I remember how to do it, and I will be in form for the weekend.”

Larrazabal said apart from his work over the Christmas, he is also benefiting from putting in the new Callaway Epic driver and three wood in his bag.

“The Epic driver is something very special. To carry eight metres longer and 15 metres longer off the tee, it helps. It helps a lot,” said the small-built Spaniard.

“I can carry 262 metres now. Before, I couldn’t carry 255.”

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