Andy Sullivan proud of his DP World Tour Championship performance
Last Updated: 22/11/15 2:53pm
Andy Sullivan believes there are plenty of positives he can take from his final-round duel with Rory McIlroy, after narrowly missing out on DP World Tour Championship victory.
Sullivan held a one-shot lead overnight and extended it to three with birdies on the first two holes, only for McIlroy to fight back to claim a one-shot win and his third Race to Dubai title in four seasons.
The Englishman was looking for a fourth win of the year having followed his two early-season wins in South African with victory in Portugal last month, but couldn't keep the world No 3 at bay with a four-under 68.
Although Sullivan was disappointed not to be able to claim victory in the European Tour's season-finale, he feels he can take a lot of encouragement from how he performed.
"Just to come up head-to-head with someone of Rory's quality, it was absolutely awesome and something that will stick with me for a long time going forward," Sullivan said.
"I gave it everything on that front nine, I just couldn't quite get the putts to drop on the back nine. I've got so much to take from this week, both the way I've played and how I've handled it.
"For me it's about doing it on a more consistent basis and getting up there and trying to get in the last group with Rory more often."
Sullivan will claim a share of the Bonus Pool after breaking in to the top 15 of the Race to Dubai standings and now looks all-but certain to end the year in the world's top 50, securing a Masters debut next April.
Despite running out of steam a little during the back nine, Sullivan appeared to have been given a lifeline when McIlroy found the water at the 17th, only for the four-time major winner to sink a 35-foot bogey putt to stay in the outright lead.
"I thought, 'I'm back in it'," said Sullivan, who was roared on all week by 30 members of his golf club from Nuneaton. "But I gave him a great read on my (birdie) putt.
"I turned to my caddie and said, 'I expect him to hole this'. That's just the world-class performer he is.
"Every time he holed a putt, I holed one straight after. It was awesome fun to be in. I don't know what it was like to watch but it was incredible just to be a part of that front nine.
"But being the class performer Rory is, I had to birdie 14 or 15 just stay with him and parring both left me just that little bit too much to do."