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Golf: Rory McIlroy wins third Race to Dubai crown in four years

Rory McIlroy won the season-ending DP World Tour Championship, Dubai. Photo: Getty Images.

Rory McIlroy won the season-ending DP World Tour Championship, Dubai. Photo: Getty Images.

November 22, 2015: Rory McIlroy completed a wonderful Dubai double for the second time in his career, winning the season-ending DP World Tour Championship after an epic duel with Andy Sullivan and with it captured his third Race to Dubai crown in four years.

 

The Northern Irishman produced a magnificent six-under-par 66 to come out on top at the end of a captivating final round, overhauling overnight leader Sullivan and withstanding the pressure of Danny Willett, the only player who could prevent him winning The Race to Dubai.

 

McIlroy and Sullivan traded four birdies and a bogey apiece on the front nine, before McIlroy moved up a gear on the back nine as his rival began to run out of steam. He left the door ajar when he hit his tee-shot in the water on the par-three 17th, but made arguably the best bogey of his life, holing a putt from 35 feet to retain the lead before sealing victory with a par at the last.

 

“I knew today wasn’t going to be easy. Andy was playing phenomenal golf over the first three days. The birdie on 12 was huge to tie the lead and then the two birdies on 14 and 15, when he didn’t make them, that gave me a nice little cushion going into the last three holes,” McIlroy said.

 

“Thankfully I rolled that putt in on 17. I guess if I had been tied playing the last, I would have backed myself with my length, but giving myself that one-shot cushion made a huge difference.”

 

The 26-year-old came into the week with a 1,614-point lead over Willett in the Race to Dubai and needed to match whatever his rival did, but sealed his position emphatically in a repeat of 2012, the year he first won the season-long money list.

 

Willett put up a valiant fight, taking a share of fourth with a closing 70, but could not stop the McIlroy juggernaut as the World No. 3 returned to his magnificent best.

 

McIlroy said: “I’m happy that this was my last event of the year and I’ve done really well and I’ve ended the season on a high. I’ve played really good golf this week, with a 13-under-par weekend. I couldn’t think of a better way to finish the season.”

 

Source: The European Tour (www.europeantour.com); Editing by SportAsia

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