Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland smiles at his girlfriend
tennis player Caroline Wozniacki as he poses with his
trophy after the fourth and final round of the DP World
Tour Championship at Jumeirah Golf Estates in Dubai.
World number one Rory McIlroy picked up $2.33 million
worth of desert treasure after repelling a record-breaking
charge from Ryder Cup team mate Justin Rose to win the DP World
Rose almost spiked the guns of the Northern Irishman, who
shared the overnight lead with Luke Donald, when he carved
two shots off the previous Earth course record with a
breathtaking 10-under final round of 62 containing eight
birdies and an eagle.
The Englishman set his target early but U.S. PGA winner
McIlroy finished with the flourish of a true champion,
birdying the last five holes to clinch victory by two strokes
with a closing 66 and a 23-under tally of 265.
"I just wanted to finish the season the way I think it
deserved to be finished," McIlroy told reporters after
winning for the fifth time in 2012.
"I didn't want the year to just tail off, I wanted to end it
in real style. On the back nine I knew I needed to pull out
something special and I somehow summoned up the energy from
somewhere to finish with five birdies in the last five
Donald (71) was tied third on 270 with South African Charl
Schwartzel (68) in the final event of the European Tour
The 23-year-old McIlroy, who started the final round with a
bogey five at the first, collected $1.33 million for landing
the trophy and an additional $1 million from the tour's bonus
"It means a lot to me to win here in this fashion," said the
2011 U.S. Open winner who was cheered on by girlfriend
Caroline Wozniacki, the former world number one tennis
"I guess in a way Justin gave me the opportunity to win it in
the way that I did.
"Seeing a target there and shooting at it definitely makes
you get more focused. This is a great tournament and this is
a great way to end the European Tour season," added McIlroy.
"I'm over the moon. There are so many strong players on the
tour and there will continue to be a lot of strong players
coming through on this tour," added McIlroy who complained of
feeling unwell in the middle of the event.
The billboards in the city called the tournament 'The
Greatest Show On Earth' and McIlroy and Rose did their best
to live up to the billing with a red-hot exhibition of
low-scoring on another sun-kissed day in the Emirate.
Dutchman Joost Luiten (276) and Scotland's Stephen Gallacher
(276) also recorded hole-in-ones while Spain's Sergio Garcia
shot his second 64 of the week to finish tied for ninth on
274 in his first outing since the Ryder Cup in September.
The highly-anticipated duel between McIlroy and Donald never
materialised as the world number two failed to keep up the
inspired form that had seen him go 102 holes in the
tournament, this year and last, without a bogey.
The Englishman's remarkable scoring sequence ended when he
dropped a stroke at the third and he was never able to mount
a sustained final-round challenge.
Rose said he had been feeling a sense of frustration with his
putter but he put that right on Sunday, especially at the
last where he left a brilliant 70-foot eagle attempt hanging
tantalisingly on the lip.
The big crowd circled around the 18th green were perched on
the edges of their seats as the ball almost slowed to a halt
at the top of a ridge before it picked up pace again and
nearly went in.
"It was hero or zero there," said Rose. "I was one roll away
from looking like an idiot.
"I was just trying to putt to a point on the hill and let
gravity take its course. I actually got goosebumps because
for a second I thought it was going to go in."
Rose's eagle effort evoked memories of the 35-footer he sunk
at the 17th on the way to his Ryder Cup singles win over Phil
Mickelson on the last day in Illinois.