Dubai – World No 1 Rory McIlroy picked up $2.33 million worth of desert treasure after repelling a record-breaking charge from Ryder Cup teammate Justin Rose to win the DP World Tour Championship on Sunday.
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 McIlroy showed nerves of steel as he reeled off five birdies in a row from the 14th to clinch victory by two strokes with a closing 66 and a 23-under tally of 265.
“I needed to do something special,” McIlroy said in an on-course interview.
“I could not have wished for the season to finish any better.”
Donald (71) was tied third on 270 with South African Charl Schwartzel (68) in the last event of the European Tour season.
McIlroy collected $1.33 million for landing the trophy and an additional $1 million from the tour's bonus prize pool.
The billboards in the city called the tournament 'The Greatest Show On Earth' and the world's best golfers 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 and Scotland's Stephen Gallacher recorded hole-in-ones while Spain's Sergio Garcia shot his second 64 of the week to finish high up the leaderboard on 274.
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. – Reuters