Justin Rose fired a new course record -10 under par 62 on Sunday at the DP World Tour Championship, Dubai, but world number one, and Race To Dubai leader, Rory McIlroy put the petal down and birdied out from the 14th hole to win the final tournament of the year on the European Tour.
With Rose sitting in the clubhouse at -21 under par, McIlroy waited patiently on the 17th tee for the green to clear, then hit a phenomenal 5 iron 200 yards, to eight feet at one of Jumeriah Golf Estate’s toughest holes. McIlroy, in true champion form, drained the putt, pumped his fist in Tigeresque fashion, and never looked back.
When the day began with McIlroy and Luke Donald tied for the lead, everyone thought the world’s number one and two would provide the drama for the finale, but a 32 year old Justin Rose decided to break up the party by shooting a 62, and join the conversation. Luke Donald picked up his first bogey of the tournament at the 3rd hole, and another at the 12th, shot a one under par 71 to fall into a tie for third place with South African Charl Schwartzel.
Rose not only beat the course record of 64 which was tied in the second round by Sergio Garcia, he destroyed it. Rose put up eight birdies and an eagle at the 14th hole to not only beat the old record, but beat it by two strokes. His Sunday card had no bogeys.
The story of the 2012 season on both the PGA and European Tours is without doubt, the 23 year old from Northern Ireland. Rory McIlroy, in true championship form, came to Dubai after missing the cut in Hong Kong with one thought in his mind. He wanted to finish a season where he has dominated everything, with a win at the Grand Finale.
With his typical slow start on this golf course, Sunday would be no different. McIlroy put up a couple of bogeys and three birdies to make the turn at one under for the day. He birdied the 11th hole, and after another bogey at 13, seemed to switch into a gear none of us mortals have. He went birdie for the remaining holes.
With Rose staying loose on the range, McIlroy went to the 18th tee, on a hole where he only needed par to win, and he had hit his tee shot in the meandering stream on Thursday, pulled out driver. He hit his tee shot as close to the center as one can, laid up to 120 yards only to drop his approach shot to 10 feet. As Rose watched with his wife from the pub, and calmly waiting for Donald to play out, the young champion then drained the putt for a two shot victory and put a cap on a season that will go in the books as one of the best I’ve ever seen.
With Tiger Woods ready to play golf again as the 2013 gets underway in January, the golf community, the television networks, and we, the fans have a chance to see some spectacular match-ups. I think we are going to finally get the challenge for Tiger we have been waiting for. I know I can’t wait.
Follow Me on Twitter @Spin_47