McIlroy romps home in Dubai
Golf:Rory McIlroy held off a fast-finishing Justin Rose to claim a stunning victory at the DP World Tour Championship in Dubai to claim the €1 million winner’s cheque and rubberstamp his position as the number one golfer on the planet.
Rose shot a brilliant course record of 62 to move to 21 under and put pressure on McIlroy down the stretch, but the 23-year-old fired back with five straight birdies from the 14th to finish on 23 under after a round of 66.
Adding in the $1 million (€770,650) he won for wrapping up the Race to Dubai title before he even arrived in the Gulf, it brings McIlroy’s earnings on the European Tour to just over €5.5 million this season.
McIlroy had found himself two behind as Rose put the finishing touches his 62, the lowest round of his European Tour career by two. But McIlroy, tied for the lead with second-ranked Luke Donald overnight, was not to be denied.
He chipped close on the long 14th, pitched to three feet at the next, made a 20-foot effort on the 16th and went one ahead with a six-foot putt on the short 17th.
Rose had done miraculously well to two-putt the par five last for birdie from around 100 feet, but McIlroy matched it to win by two.
It was his fifth victory during a 2012 which included a second Major title, like the first by eight shots, and the same money list double on both sides of the Atlantic achieved by Donald last year.
McIlroy admitted that he was aware of Rose’s stunning round, but played each hole on its merits on his run to glory.
“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!”
Donald finished joint third with South African Charl Schwartzel five strokes behind McIlroy, his 71 including bogeys at the third and 12th after he had gone a remarkable 102 holes on the course without dropping a shot.
The day also contained holes-in-one from Stephen Gallacher at the fourth and Joost Luiten at the sixth and when Sergio Garcia eagled the last for the second time in three days it gave him what was then a course record-equalling 64, also for the second time.
Rose has now set a new mark, but McIlroy is the one everyone else must try to catch in the New Year.