Marc Warren holes putt worth around $100,000 on last green in Abu Dhabi
The 39-year-old, who had played in the first 13 editions of the event before being forced to sit out the last two, finished with a flourish in the company of two-time winner Tommy Fleetwood.
Warren, who won the Austrian Open last summer to regain his seat at European golf’s top table after losing his full playing privileges following a slump in form, had already birdied the 16th before converting his profitable putt at the last.
That late burst saw him close with a 71 for an 11-under-par total, finishing in a tie for fifth in the $8 million Rolex Series behind winner Tyrrell Hatton.
“Yeah, very happy,” admitted Warren, who picked up just over $250,000, afterwards. “My attitude was really good today as I stayed patient.
“To try and win was going to be a massive ask with the players in the last couple of groups,” he added of Hatton, Fleetwood and Rory McIlroy being the other players in the final two pairings.
“My main goal at the start of the day was to try and stay as patient as I possibly could, whether I made a good or bad start.
“I made a couple of good up and downs in the middle of the back nine and it was great to then get a reward with those two late birdies.”
Warren, who had earlier holed a good bogey putt at the third before rolling in another long birdie putt at the par-5 eighth, added: “I was tying not to force anything.
“Both Tyrrell and Rory are serial winners, so I was just trying to get as good a finish as I could.
“I was trying to take care of my own mental side of it out there and I was pleased how I did that.”
Bob MacIntyre (70), Scott Jamieson (70) and Stephen Gallacher (72) all finished joint-16th on six-under to make a good start to the season for the Scottish contingent.
David Drysdale (73) finished on four-under, two better than Calum Hill (70), with Grant Forrest ending up on level-par after a closing 76.