Top-ranked Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland made five straight birdies down the stretch and ended his season with a victory in the Dubai World Championship.
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 money titles on the European and PGA tours.
McIlroy, ranked No. 1 in the world, recovered from early putting woes to finish at 6-under-par 66 for a 23-under 265 total in the European Tour’s season-ending event.
Englishman 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; he was two strokes behind McIlroy.
“I just wanted to finish the season the way I thought I deserved to finish the season,” McIlroy said after holing a birdie putt on No. 18 and raising his arms 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.”
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Second-ranked Luke Donald (71) of England tied for third with Charl Schwartzel (68) of South Africa at 18 under at Jumeirah Golf Estates.
The final day was supposed to be a duel between McIlroy and Donald, who were tied for the lead after the third round. Donald grabbed an early two-shot lead when McIlroy bogeyed the first hole and Donald birdied the second.
But Donald three-putted the third to end a streak of 102 holes on the Earth Course without a bogey. He had another bogey on No. 12 to fall three back and didn’t seriously challenge again.
Rose took the lead with an eagle on No. 14 after his approach shot rolled to 10 feet. His advantage was two strokes after McIlroy three-putted on the 13th hole.
One of McIlroy’s most spectacular birdies was at No. 17; his 5-iron shot ended up a few feet from the pin.