Rory McIlroy ended the year as Europes No. Despite Jon Rahms win in Dubai on Sunday, Rory McIlroy finished the year as Europes No.1 golfer.
The Spaniards victory by two shots over Tyrrell Hatton in England and Alex Noren in Sweden was his third in six year at Jumeirah Golf Estates.
McIlroy ended the season at the top of the DP World rankings, just after Matt Fitzpatrick (his only rival for the Harry Vardon trophy) collapsed around the turn.
Fitzpatrick had to win, McIlroy had to finish second, and McIlroy had to be outside of the top seven.
Fitzpatrick was three short of the lead in the eighth hole, double-bogeyed the 10th and then lost another shot at the 11th to end his chances.
McIlroy was able to play without the fireworks of the previous days. He powered himself into contention with 65 and, while Rahm would have been on 20-under if McIlroy had eagled last, he could only manage par for a course of 68 which included six birdies as well as four bogeys to finish in fourth.
It means a lot. Its been seven year since I last did it. McIlroy, who won his third PGA Tour FedEx Cup, said that he has won three FedEx Cups since the last time he won it.
It would be nice to get one win at the end of this year, but Jon played an amazing tournament and fully deserved it.
Rahm, who became first player to win three times in the tournament, started the final day with an unbeaten lead. He opened the round with two consecutive birdies to double his advantage.
Fitzpatricks birdie of 28 feet at the third brought him to 15 under. He was only two shots behind, but things began to unravel with a bogey at his short sixth. Even though he immediately retook that shot, the calamitous eight ultimately saved his hopes.
His drive hit a deep rut in the waste area. His out shot failed to clear it and he was left with a chip that was duffed. He two-putted from his fringe for a six.
He fell five short of the fairway at 10th, and he dropped another shot. His challenge was over.
McIlroy had three birdies, a bogey, and four birdies in his first four holes. The flagstick kept McIlroys birdie attempt from 56 feet from being stopped.
He three-putted the ninth hole, but he wasnt the only one. Hatton did the exact same for his only bogey of round 66.