Race to Dubai Champion and DP World Tour Champion
Rory McIlroy/Getty Images
Rory McIlroy signed off on his remarkable season by winning the DP World Tour Championship at Jumeirah Golf Estates, Earth Course, on Sunday. Rory’s last round of -6 under par 66, gave him a tournament totel of -23 under par, two shots ahead of his nearest rival, who was Justin Rose. Rory said his year had been “Unbelievable.” He had heard the cheers around the course as Justin came charging through the field, and watched as Justin birdied the last, the par five eighteenth from around 100 feet.
“I saw Justin make a charge, I heard the cheers, but to finish like that was great. I could not have wished for any better. To back up 2011 with another Major and to be part of an unbelievable story at the Ryder Cup has made it an incredible year. But hopefully I can emulate it or do even better next year! It’s an unbelievable feeling, I said I wanted to win both trophies this week and that is exactly what I’ve managed to do even though I didn’t get off to the best of starts with a bogey on the first. I knew I needed to do something special over the closing few holes, I really couldn’t have wished for a better ending. I made all the targets that I set for this year and I’m already looking forward to 2013. Today I went out with a target of 22 under par, which I thought would be enough to win so making it to 23 under par gave me a bit of a cushion.”
Justin’s compensation for his Earth Course record of -10 under par last round 62, and second place at -21 under par, is fourth spot in the World Golf Rankings, pushing down Lee Westwood, the first time Lee has been outside the top four in three years. He played the last six holes in -6 under par, and also has the memory of that 100 foot putt, that everybody thought was actually going in. It would have been even more miraculous than the Ryder Cup birdie against Phil Mickleson. The putt looked like it was going to stop at the top of the ridge, but then gently trickled down to the side of the hole, Justin summed it up as:
“Probably four Mickelsons, maybe five. I knew it was hero or zero there, I was one roll away from looking like an idiot. I actually got goosebumps. I thought it was going to go in for a second.”
Luke Donald went 102 holes without a bogey, but sadly finished his tournament with a last round of -1 under par 71, tied in third place with South African Charl Schwartzel, both completed the tournament at -18 under par.
But the day, and the year, belonged to Rory McIlroy, lets hope he can continue the good form next year. It is always hard to follow a really good year with another, and even more of a challenge for Rory, as he has decided to change his clubs for next year, no more Titleist, it is rumored he will now play Nike. Rickie Fowler has not played so well since his switch to Cobra, lets trust that Rory has not made the same mistake.