Rory McIlroy wins DP World Tour Championship and Race to Dubai
Last Updated: 22/11/15 7:18pm
Rory McIlroy secured the Race to Dubai title for the third time in four seasons with a one-shot victory at the DP World Tour Championship on Sunday.
McIlroy produced a string of birdies on the back nine on his way to a six-under 66 to finish one clear of overnight leader Andy Sullivan.
Sullivan briefly held a three-shot advantage after birdieing four of his opening six holes, only for McIlroy to bounce back with a hat-trick of gains from the fifth.
The gain at the seventh closed the gap and Sullivan's lead looked set to be wiped out when he dropped a shot at the eighth and saw his escape from a fairway bunker on the ninth catch the edge of the trap, but he chipped in for an unlikely par.
McIlroy picked up a shot at the 11th and moved alongside Sullivan by holing a 25-footer at the next, before moving into a two-shot advantage by following a three-foot birdie at the 14th with another at the 15th.
The Northern Irishman found the water off the 17th tee but sunk a 35-foot bogey putt to cling on to a one-shot lead, before sealing victory with a par at the last.
Branden Grace, one of seven players who came in to this week still with a chance of Race to Dubai victory, opened with three consecutive birdies on his way to a five-under 67 to end the week in outright third.
"It's a good round to finish the season, and it's the best one so far," Grace said. "I can't be disappointed with that. Today was good ball-striking and I managed to make some nice putts."
Nearest rival Danny Willett looked set to make a late push to be European No 1 when he moved four under for the day after 10 holes, but back-to-back bogeys late in his round left him in a six-way tie for fourth on 13 under.
Francesco Molinari was part of that group after posting a hole-in-one on the sixth, with rookies Byeong Hun An and Matt Fitzpatrick also eight off the pace.
"I'm really pleased with the way I've played this week," Fitzpatrick said. "It's going to be the 10th top-10 of the year, which is a nice little stat to have, particularly for my first year.
"It's not an easy course, you've got to hit it well. Hopefully next year I'll be a little bit longer and able to take advantage of a few more of the holes."