Rory McIlroy wins the World Tour Championship in Dubai
World no.1 birdied the final five holes to defeat Justin Rose
McIlroy had already won Race to Dubai and topped European Money list
Justin Rose finishes second after threatening to shock the Northern Irishman
Rory McIlroy produced a dazzling performance to clinch the World Tour Championship in Dubai.
The world no.1 birdied the last five holes to pip Justin Rose by two shots and round off a phenomenal year.
Beginning the day leading the field alongside Luke Donald, the Northern Irishman was forced to produce his brilliant best as his Ryder Cup teammate faded towards the end.
McIlroy had fallen two shots off the lead following a bogey on the 13th as Rose bloomed in the Dubai sunshine.
Rose, ranked seven in the world, set a new course record with a bogey-free round of 10-under par 62.
But McIlroy, watched by tennis ace girlfriend Caroline Wozniacki, produced an exquisite run of form down the final stretch to finish on six-under 66 and 23-under for the tournament.
And the 23-year-old, who came into the tournament having already won the Race to Dubai European Money List, was thrilled with his latest triumph.
“I just wanted to finish the season the way I thought it deserved to be finished,” McIlroy told reporters.
“I’ve played so well throughout the year, and I didn’t want to just let it tail off sort of timidly. I wanted to come here and finish in style. I was able to do it.
“Obviously going out today, myself and Luke (Donald) were tied for the lead, and we both didn’t get off to the greatest of starts.
“And then Justin had that incredible back nine, shot 62, and I knew midway through the back nine I needed to do something special.
“Somehow I summoned up the energy from somewhere to make five birdies in the last five holes. It’s just a great way to end this tournament, a great way to end the season, and I am already excited about 2013.
“It means a lot to me to win in this fashion, as well. I guess in a way, Justin gave me the opportunity to do what I did.
“I guess seeing a target there and shooting at something, it definitely makes you more focused.”
The 23-under-par 265 recorded by McIlroy matched the lowest four-round aggregate in the four-year history of the tournament – set by Lee Westwood in 2009.
He also equaled the Englishman’s achievement of winning both the Race to Dubai European Money List and the World Tour Championship in the same season
Meanwhile, Rose was left to reflect on what might have been having gone close to making an eagle putt from 70 feet on the 13th only to miss by inches.
He said: “That was a lot of fun. The front nine was just as good as the back nine, and the back nine putts started going in, which is a nice feeling.
“But you know what Rory is capable of. Fair play to him for making all those birdies down the stretch.”
Luke Donald, who led alongside McIlroy overnight, finished on 18-under for the tournament after making two bogeys on the final round having not made any over the first 100 holes of the tournament.
He finished level alongside 2011 Masters champion Charl Schwartzel.