Rory McIlroy crowned top golfer in Europe despite Jon Rahm claiming Dubai title

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The Spaniard’s two-shot victory his third in six years at Jumeirah Golf Estates.
Posted on
November 20, 2022
The Editorial Team in ,
Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

Rory McIlroy finished the year as European number one for the fourth time in his career – and first since 2015 – despite Jon Rahm winning the DP World Tour Championship in Dubai.

The Spaniard’s two-shot victory over England’s Tyrrell Hatton and Sweden’s Alex Noren was his third in six years at Jumeirah Golf Estates and worth 3million US dollars (£2.5m).

But McIlroy finished the season top of the DP World rankings after Matt Fitzpatrick, his only rival for the Harry Vardon Trophy, blew up around the turn.

Rory McIlroy tees off at the 18th hole in Dubai
Rory McIlroy tees off at the 18th hole in Dubai (Martin Dokoupil/AP)

June’s US Open champion needed to win and McIlroy, already world number one, to not finish runner-up, or to finish second and the Northern Irishman to be outside the top seven.

But neither of those scenarios transpired as the Sheffield golfer, three off the lead playing the eighth, double-bogeyed and then dropped another shot at the 10th to end his chances.

McIlroy did not need any of the fireworks of the previous day, when he powered himself into contention with a 65, and while he could have tied Rahm on 20 under had he eagled the last he could only manage par for a 68 which included six birdies and four bogeys to finish fourth.

“It means a lot. It’s been seven years since I’ve last done it. I’ve won three FedEx Cups since I last won,” McIlroy, who lifted his third PGA Tour FedEx Cup in August, told Sky Sports.

“I was a model of consistency throughout the year and I think my worst finish in European (DP World) Tour events was 12th at the start of the year in Abu Dhabi.

“It would have been nice to get one win in there at the end of the year but Jon played an incredible tournament and fully deserved it.”

Having achieved such consistency McIlroy will again turn his attention to ending an eight-year major drought.

“I’m really proud of my year and I am looking forward to 2023,” he added.

“I just feel when you get to this level it is how you can make those incremental improvements to get better and my goal has been to become a more complete golfer.

“I am as complete a golfer as I’ve ever been and I hope to continue on that path.

“It has taken me seven years to get my hands back on this trophy again; it’s been eight years since I won a major.

“If I can keep playing the way I’m playing and keep these consistent levels up I will do that.”

Rahm, who became the first player to win the tournament three times, began the final day with a one-shot lead and opened with two successive birdies to double his advantage.

Fitzpatrick’s 28-foot birdie at the third got him to 15 under and within two but things started to unravel with a bogey at the short sixth and even though he immediately clawed back that dropped shot the calamitous eighth ultimately did for his hopes.

His drive landed in a deep rut in a waste area, his blast out failed to clear the rough and having flown the green and duffed his chip he two-putted from the fringe for a six.

That put him five behind and after missing the fairway at the 10th he dropped another shot and his challenge was over as he finished 13 under, seven adrift.

The only trouble McIlroy, who had three birdies and a bogey in his first four holes, had at the eighth came from the flagstick which kept out his 56ft birdie effort.

He three-putted the ninth green but was not the only one as Hatton did the same for his only bogey in a round of 66, while the Englishman could not believe he missed an 11ft eagle putt to tie the lead at the 14th.

Pos.PlayerTo ParR1R2R3R4Total
1RAHM, Jon-2070666567268
2HATTON, Tyrrell-1865677266270
NOREN, Alex-1866696867270
4MCILROY, Rory-1671686568272
5FITZPATRICK, Matt-1365677073275
FLEETWOOD, Tommy-1368706869275
7HØJGAARD, Rasmus-1168707267277
MERONK, Adrian-1170716571277
9ARNAUS, Adri-1067687568278
CAMPILLO, Jorge-1071657171278
11KIEFFER, Maximilian-869707071280
12LAGERGREN, Joakim-773717166281
LEE, Min Woo-771677469281
PEREZ, Victor-769737366281
SYME, Connor-773717067281
16HORSFIELD, Sam-671707071282
OTAEGUI, Adrian-671687271282
RAMSAY, Richie-669707370282
19FOX, Ryan-573727068283
20GREEN, Gavin-470736873284
LANGASQUE, Romain-471697272284
LAW, David-470747466284
23HOVLAND, Viktor-374707170285
LOWRY, Shane-373707171285
MIGLIOZZI, Guido-371697372285
PAUL, Yannik-368717472285
SHINKWIN, Callum-368767170285
28MANSELL, Richard-273717072286
WU, Ashun-278647272286
30LI, Haotong-175756968287
OLESEN, Thorbjørn-175717269287
SMITH, Jordan-176727168287
WARING, Paul-170727471287
34BEKKER, OliverPar72747468288
CABRERA BELLO, RafaPar75717072288
MACINTYRE, RobertPar70737174288
PEPPERELL, EddiePar76736970288
ROZNER, AntoinePar72727371288
SCHNEIDER, MarcelPar72717471288
ZANOTTI, FabrizioPar73707372288
41LAWRENCE, Thriston172767170289
42FERGUSON, Ewen276727072290
KITAYAMA, Kurt268697281290
44BLAND, Richard377727072291
SHARMA, Shubhankar373717473291
46SÖDERBERG, Sebastian470767472292
47LARRAZÁBAL, Pablo769797869295
WILSON, Oliver770727578295
49PAVON, Matthieu875767273296
50LONG, Hurly976737375297
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