November 26, 2012 in Sports

McIlroy caps off historic season with win in Dubai

Associated Press

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates – Rory McIlroy made five straight birdies down the stretch to overtake Justin Rose and win the Dubai World Championship on Sunday, ending a historic year in which the 23-year-old Northern Irishman won the PGA Championship and the European and PGA tour money titles.

The top-ranked McIlroy recovered from early putting woes to finish at 6-under 66 for a total 23-under 265 at the season-ending tournament. Rose, who was tied for seventh after three rounds, surged down the stretch into contention after shooting a course-record 62 that included an eagle and eight birdies.

“I just wanted to finish the season the way I thought I deserved to finish the season,” McIlroy said after holing a birdie on 18 and raising his arms in the air in celebration. “You know, I 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.”

Second-ranked Luke Donald (71) was tied for third with Charl Schwartzel (68) of South Africa.

The day was supposed to be a duel between McIlroy and Donald, who were tied for the lead after the third round. The Englishman grabbed an early two-shot lead when McIlroy bogeyed the first and Donald birdied the second.

But then Donald three-putted the third to end a streak of 102 holes on the Earth Course without a bogey to give McIlroy a chance. He then had another bogey on No. 12 to fall three back and never challenged after that.

At No. 17, McIlroy hit what was probably the shot of his tournament, landing a 5-iron within a few feet of the pin.

“You could easily be a lot right into the bunker and leave yourself a tricky up-and-down,” he said. “I committed to it and hit a great shot and followed it with a great putt for birdie to give myself that cushion going into the last.”

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