Rory McIlroy In The Bag: DP World Tour Championship
By Jake O'Reilly
26 November 2012 09:17
Rory McIlroy capped his remarkable 2012 season with victory at the DP World Tour Championship on a dramatic final day in Dubai.
The world number one held off not only playing partner Luke Donald, but also Justin Rose - whose at Jumeirah Golf Estates Earth Course record 62 had threatened to spoil the Northern Irishman’s lap of honour after a year in which he has won The Race to Dubai, the US PGA Championship and the money list in America.
McIlroy briefly found himself two behind as Ryder Cup teammate Rose blitzed his way to 10-under-par - the lowest round of his European Tour career by two - including an incredible 100-foot putt at the last that stopped on a ridge 15-feet short, before rolling to the lip for a tap-in birdie.
But McIlroy, who shared the overnight lead with Donald, was not to be denied and finished with five straight birdies to win by two.
The 23-year-old's run started when he chipped close on the long 14th, before he pitched to three-feet on 15, made a 20-footer on 16 and went one ahead with a six-foot putt on the short 17th. A final birdie at the par-5 last gave him a closing 66 for a 23-under-par total.
By adding the DP World Tour Championship to his Race to Dubai crown, McIlroy earned himself a combined €1,822,520 to set a new record for a single-season earnings with €5,519,117.
McIlroy summed up his day and his year in one word - "unbelievable".
"I saw Justin make a charge - I heard the cheers," he said, "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.”
McIlroy becomes the first player since Lee Westwood in 2009 to win both The Race to Dubai and the DP World Tour Championship in the same year. “I made all the targets that I set for this year and I’m already looking forward to 2013,” added McIlroy. “Today I went out with a target of 22-under-par, which I thought would be enough to win so making it to 23 gave me a bit of a cushion.”
Rose's compensation for a second place comes in the form of him moving-up to second overall in the Race to Dubai and a new career-high fourth in the Official World Golf Ranking.
The 32-year-old also has the memory of perhaps the putt of the year, one that, in his own words, was "probably four Mickelsons, maybe five. I knew it was hero or zero there," said the Englishman. "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."
Rose played the last six holes in six-under-par with an eagle on the 14th and four birdies, but it was not enough. Donald’s 71, including bogeys at the 3rd and 12th, came after he had gone a remarkable 102 holes on the Earth Course without dropping a shot.
Fifth place was enough for Louis Oosthuizen to take third place in The Race to Dubai bonus pool, while Donald climbed to seventh in the final rankings. Paul Lawrie grabbed the 10th and final share of the bonus pool by finishing in a tie for 14th, with Nicolas Colsaerts the unlucky man to miss out.
Here's what was in the bag of the world number one and Race to Dubai winner McIlroy:
Driver: Titleist 913D3 (8.5°) with a Mitsubishi Diamana protype 70X shaft
Fairway woods: Titleist 913Fd prototype (13.5°, 18°)
Irons: Titleist 712 MB (3-9) with Project X 6.5 shafts
Wedges: Titleist Vokey Design SM4 (46°, 54°, 60°) with Project X 6.5 shafts
Putter: Titleist Scotty Cameron Studio Select Newport GSS Prototype
Ball: Titleist Pro V1x