Grace tops Warren to win Qatar Masters

Doha, Qatar ( - Branden Grace picked up five strokes over the final seven holes on Saturday and fended off Marc Warren to win the Qatar Masters.

Grace fired a bogey-free, 6-under 66 to end at 19-under-par 269. The South African, who won for the sixth time on the European Tour, raised his record to 6-0 when owning at least a piece of the 54-hole lead.

"It was a great day, it was a great week. It's another great trophy to put in the cupboard," Grace said. "I got off to great start today, then I fell a bit asleep."

Warren closed with a his second straight 67 to end one back at minus-18. He had shared the third-round lead with Grace, Bernd Wiesberger and Emiliano Grillo.

Wiesberger posted a 4-under 68 and ended alone in third at 17-under-par 271, while Eddie Pepperell (67) took fourth at minus-16.

Grillo managed a 2-under 70 in the final round at Doha Golf Club and finished at 15-under 273. He was joined there by Byeong-hun An and Gregory Bourdy, who both fired 65s in the final round.

Alejandro Canizares (69) took eighth at minus-14 and Alexander Noren (65) was one stroke further back at 13-under 275.

Grace birdied the first, but followed that with 10 consecutive pars. In that span, he varied from one behind to tied for the lead.

Late in Grace's run of pars, there was a brief seven-way tie for the lead at minus-14. Wiesberger, who was paired with Grace in the final round, dropped in three straight birdies from the 10th to break free from that pack and move to 16-under.

Grace matched Wiesberger's birdie at the 12th. Wiesberger ran off five pars in a row from No. 13 to stay at minus-16.

After a par on 13, Grace grabbed a share of the lead as he birdied the 14th. At the short par-4 16th, Grace's drive stopped five feet from the hole.

The South African poured that in for eagle. Now two clear of the field, Grace parred the 17th and that allowed Warren to join him at minus-18 as Warren birdied the 16th and 17th.

Grace answered at the par-5 closing hole. His third shot rolled over the left edge of the hole and stopped three feet from the cup. He kicked that in for a closing birdie and 19-under.

"The form has been there, and I stuck to my routine this week and I played great, and I managed to come out on top," said Grace.

Warren, who was in the final group, had a 25-foot putt to force a playoff, but it stayed above ground.

NOTES: Grace earned 353,257 euros for the win ... Grace won in December at the Alfred Dunhill Championship and has won two of the last four European Tour events ... Henrik Stenson, the 2006 champion, fired a 66 to finish tied for 13th, while Justin Rose carded a 68 to end alongside Stenson at minus-10 ... Last year's winner Sergio Garcia closed with a 3-under 69 and ended in a tie for 46th ... Stephen Gallacher is expected to defend his title next week at the Omega Dubai Desert Classic.