Lee Westwood celebrates becoming the oldest Race to Dubai winner
Lee Westwood ends the season as European Tour No 1 after finishing runner-up to Matt Fitzpatrick at the DP World Tour Championship and securing the Race to Dubai title for the third time in his career.
By Ali Stafford
Last Updated: 13/12/20 3:50pm
Lee Westwood revealed he only realised he still had a chance of ending the season as European No 1 after finishing his final round at the DP World Tour Championship.
The Englishman became the oldest player to win the European Tour's Race to Dubai after finishing runner-up to Matt Fitzpatrick in the season finale, 20 years on from winning his first of three Order of Merit titles.
Westwood birdied two of his final three holes to close a final-round 68 at Jumeriah Golf Estates and set the clubhouse target at 14 under, which was enough for solo second when Viktor Hovland, Patrick Reed and Laurie Canter all failed to match his total over the closing holes.
Claiming outright second was enough for Westwood to pip Fitzpatrick to the Harry Vardon Trophy by 17.8 points, with Reed - looking to become the first American winner of the Race to Dubai - finishing the season in third spot after ending the tournament tied-third.
"I went out trying to win the tournament," Westwood said. "That was the best and the simplest thing to try and do. There's so many sort of permutations that can go on on a day like today.
"It can all get too confusing if you let it. You might as well just go out there and shoot as low a score as you can on each individual hole.
"I figured I needed to finish 15-under to win the tournament. Not really any thoughts of The Race to Dubai until I got into the scoring tent afterwards and looked at it all and realised I've still got a chance."
Westwood is five years older than when Colin Montgomerie won the last of his eight titles in 2005, with the 47-year-old's Order of Merit his first since the topped the Race to Dubai standings in 2009.
"They [Race to Dubai wins] have all been very different," Westwood added. "I guess 2000, I was winning a lot, but I was still up-and-coming. It was only my seventh year on Tour.
"In 2009, I was honing in on the best player in the world spot, and I needed to win here to win the Race to Dubai, and I managed to do that. And then this one, I'm kind of the more mature player on the European Tour now. I
"It wasn't something I set out to do at the start of the year, but it shows the consistency I've shown. The most satisfying thing is doing it under pressure when it matters."