Rory McIlroy holed a stunning bunker shot for birdie at the last as he romped to victory at the UBS Hong Kong Open, after a scintillating final round 65.
The victory now gives the 22-year-old a fighting chance of finishing top of The Race to Dubai, and ending Luke Donald’s dream of winning money lists on both sides of the Atlantic, with the pair set to do battle at the season-ending event which starts on Thursday.
McIlroy, who was flawless off the tee, carded five birdies and no bogeys on his way to a 12-under par winning score in Fanling, finishing two strokes clear of Gregory Havret who matched the US Open champion’s Sunday score of 65.
The Northern Irishman wasn’t at his best on Saturday, but he turned it around on the final day and saw off the challenge of Havret, Peter Hanson and Richie Ramsay.
Swede Hanson looked the most likely challenger to McIlroy at one stage, but a poor approach with a wegde to the 14th resulted in a bogey and McIlroy took full advantage.
Overnight leader Alvaro Quiros experienced a difficult day though, finishing with a three-over par 73, while defending champion Ian Poulter ended in a tie for 4th spot on eight-under par.
The victory secured McIlroy a cheque for just over £290,000 and he now needs to win the tournament in Dubai and hope that current leader Donald finished outside of the top nine.