by Jeff Skinner
After a slow start to his final round, Rory McIlroy put the hammer down on the back nine to win the DP World Tour Championship and finish his 2012 season with an emphatic exclamation point.
He opened with a bogey on the first hole and finished and a pedestrian 35 on the front nine that kept the race for first place tense. Rory traded shots with playing partner Luke Donald as Charl Schwartzel and Justin Rose mounted their charges.
Rose blistered the course with a new record at The Earth Course. His 10 under par 62 included eight birdies and an eagle but also included a monster eagle putt on the eighteenth hole that hung over the lip and missed falling in by a hair. That would have forced Rory to go even lower to avoid a playoff. As it was, McElroy finished with an impressive string of five straight birdies to close at 23 under par and two strokes clear of Rose.
McIlroy became the second straight player to win both the US PGA Tour and the European Tour money Titles. But this year McIlroy broke Donald’s 2011 single season earnings record. McIlroy earned $7,161, 276 to Donald’s $6,907,325 of official Euro Tour money.
McIlroy acknowledged Roses’ charge and with this check still not cashed is looking forward to next season. “I saw Justin make a charge – I heard the cheers,” he said, “but to finish like that was great.
“I could not have wished for any better. To back up 2011 with another Major and to be part of an unbelievable story at the Ryder Cup has made it an incredible year.
“But hopefully I can emulate it or do even better next year!”
“It’s an unbelievable feeling – I said I wanted to win both trophies this week and that is exactly what I’ve managed to do even though I didn’t get off to the best of starts with a bogey on the first.
“I knew I needed to do something special over the closing few holes – I really couldn’t have wished for a better ending.”
“I made all the targets that I set for this year and I’m already looking forward to 2013.”