Rory McIlroy ends season top of the DP World Tour rankings for a fourth time after a fourth-place finish in Dubai; Jon Rahm won the event for a third time with a two-shot victory over Tyrrell Hatton and Alex Noren
By Ali Stafford
Last Updated: 20/11/22 12:55pm
Jon Rahm secured a third DP World Tour Championship victory with a two-shot win in Dubai, as Rory McIlroy ended the season top of the DP World Tour rankings.
Rahm took a one-shot advantage into the final round and never left the top of the leaderboard during an entertaining final round at Jumeriah Golf Estates in Dubai, mixing six birdies with a lone bogey to end the week on 20 under.
The Spaniard’s closest challenge came from Tyrrell Hatton and Alex Noren, who carded rounds of 66 and 67 respectively to share second spot, with McIlroy a further stroke back in fourth spot after a four-under 68.
McIlroy’s finish ensured he retained his place at the top of the season-long DP World Tour rankings and secured him the Harry Vardon Trophy for a fourth time, with the world No 1 also becoming only the second player in history to win the PGA Tour’s FedExCup and the DP World Tour order of merit in the same season.
Relentless Rahm wins again in Dubai
Rahm made the dream start when he birdied his opening three holes but failed to get up and down from the greenside bunker to save par at the fourth, as Noren followed successive birdies from the second by holing from 30 feet at the sixth to briefly get within one of the lead.
Noren bogeyed the par-five next, where Rahm rolled in from 20 feet to briefly go three ahead when Hatton followed four birdies in his first eight holes with a three-putt bogey at the ninth.
Rahm reached the turn with a two-shot cushion over Noren, who birdied the ninth and halved the advantage with a 25-foot birdie at the 12th, with the Spaniard regaining that margin by draining a 30-footer at the par-three 13th.
Hatton posted back-to-back birdies from the 13th to pull level with Noren and added another at the par-five last, setting the clubhouse target at 18 under, as Rahm moved a big step closer to victory with a six-foot birdie at the 15th.
Noren birdied his penultimate hole and recovered from finding water off the final tee to save par at the last, keeping him alongside Hatton in tied-second, as Rahm negotiated the closing holes to complete a record fifth Rolex Series title and become the first three-time winner of the DP World Tour’s season finale.
How McIlroy ended European No 1
McIlroy came into the week top of the season-long standings and one of seven players with a mathematical chance of ending as European No 1, with the four-time major winner going into the final day with a narrow lead in the projected standings over US Open champion Matt Fitzpatrick.
The Northern Irishman birdied his opening two holes and cancelled out a dropped shot at the next by making a 10-foot birdie at the fifth, before responding to a dropped shot at the ninth by starting his back nine with a birdie.
Live Australian PGA Championship
November 24, 2022, 2:30am
Back-to-back birdies from the 14th saw McIlroy close on Rahm at the top of the leaderboard, with the world No 1 closing a final-round 68 with three pars to top the DP World Tour standings for the first time since 2015.
Fitzpatrick needed a top-two finish to have a chance of leapfrogging McIlroy, although dropped four shots in a five-hole stretch around the turn on his way to a one-over 73 and a share of fifth place with compatriot Tommy Fleetwood.
There are just four days between the 2022 DP World Tour season finishing and the 2023 campaign getting under way, with events in Australia and South Africa beginning on Thursday.
The Fortinet Australian PGA Championship takes place at Royal Queensland GC in Brisbane, live from 2.30am on Sky Sports Golf, with the Joburg Open at Houghton GC then live from 10am on Sky Sports Golf.
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