Rory McIlroy wins DP World Tour Championship in Dubai
DP World Tour Championship final leaderboard:
- R McIlroy (NI)
- J Rose (Eng)
- L Donald (Eng), C Schwartzel (SA)
- Selected others -14:
- J Donaldson (Wal), P Harrington (Ire), S Garcia (Spa)
- S Jamieson (Sco)
- S Gallacher (Sco)
- R Rock (Eng)
- I Poulter (Eng), D Willett (Eng), C Wood (Eng), M Warren (Sco), R Ramsay (Sco)
- L Westwood (Eng), P Lawrie (Sco), D Drysdale (Sco)
World number one Rory McIlroy capped a sensational 2012 by birdieing the last five holes to win the season-ending DP World Tour Championship in Dubai.
The Northern Irishman won his fifth title of the year after a 66 took him to 23 under, two clear of Justin Rose.
Rose holed eight birdies and an eagle in a course record 10-under-par 62.
Fellow Englishman Luke Donald, who led overnight with McIlroy, shared third with Charl Schwartzel on 18 under after closing with a one-under 71.
"I couldn't have wished for the season to end any better," said 23-year-old McIlroy who won his second major at the US PGA Championship in 2012 and emulated Donald's feat from last year of winning the European and American money lists.
"Coming here with the [European Tour's] Race to Dubai wrapped up, I wanted to win the tournament trophy too and that's what I've done.
"It's a great way to finish a great season."
What had been expected to be a two-way shoot-out for the title between McIlroy and Donald was quickly turned into a three-way battle when Rose hit four birdies on the front nine to jump to 15 under.
McIlroy, who began on 17 under, bogeyed his opening hole, while Donald three-putted the third to record his first bogey of the tournament - and first in 103 holes on the Jumeirah Golf Estates course.
Rose meanwhile was holing a sixth birdie on the 13th before knocking in a five-foot eagle putt on the 14th to move one head of McIlroy on 19 under and two clear of Donald, both of who missed birdie chances on the 10th.
McIlroy levelled with a birdie on 11 but Rose inched ahead by matching that on the 15th and the world number seven unwittingly doubled his advantage by parring the 16th and 17th while McIlroy was bogeying the 13th.
Donald's challenge had already faltered with a bogey on the 12th and although birdies on the 14th and 16th gave him hope of making a late surge, he found the greenside stream with his second to the par-five 18th.
Rose, needing a par on the the last hole to break the course record, went one better, expertly judging a tricky 100-foot putt down the slope from the back of the green to leave himself a six-inch tap-in birdie to set the clubhouse lead on 21 under.
On his putt, Rose said: "I was one roll away from looking like an idiot.
"As soon as the ball got to the top of the hill and started to roll down I started to get goosebumps because I thought it was going in."
However, Rose's lead was short-lived as McIlroy holed birdie putts from three and 20 feet on the 15th and 16th to draw level, before hitting a five iron to six feet on the par-three 17th to set up his fourth successive birdie.
He wrapped up the victory with a curling 10-foot putt on the last, and quickly set his sights on more success in 2013 when asked about his next target.
"To be focused on the majors, try to win more of those," he said. "I've won one in '11 and one in '12. It would be nice to keep that run going next year, to keep improving as a player.
"I can feel like I can improve in different areas of the game still. "