DUBAI — Rory McIlroy won the DP World Tour Championship in magnificent fashion in Dubai on Sunday when he birdied the last five holes to beat Justin Rose by two shots.
In the season-ending championship of the European Tour at the Earth course of Jumeirah Golf Estates, world No1 McIlroy had fallen two shots behind the fast-charging Rose after a bogey on the 13th hole.
Rose, the world No7 who set a new course record with a bogey-free round of 10-under-par 62, had set the clubhouse target of 21-under-par 267.
But McIlroy easily moved ahead with a brilliant display of golf down the stretch, and after playing the final par-five hole conservatively — he laid up with his second shot — he made his birdie putt from 12 feet to close with a round of six-under-par 66.
McIlroy’s 23-under-par 265 total matched the lowest four-round aggregate in the four-year history of the tournament, set by Lee Westwood in 2009, and he also matched Westwood’s effort that year of winning both the Race to Dubai European Money List and the DP World Tour Championship in the same season.
McIlroy had come into the tournament with an unassailable lead on top of the Race to Dubai. His earnings of €5,5m also beat the single-year earnings record on the European Tour (€5,3m by Luke Donald last year).
An elated McIlroy said: "I just wanted to finish the season the way I thought it deserved to be finished.
"I’ve played so well throughout the year, and I didn’t want to just let it tail off sort of timidly. I wanted to come here and finish in style. I was able to do it."
Donald, who had not made a bogey for 100 holes at the Earth course till the end of the third round, made two yesterday but could not get going. He finished with a one-under-par 71 to be tied third with 2011 Masters champion Charl Schwartzel.