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Thrilling finale sees McIlroy triumph
Last updated: 25th November 2012
Rory McIlroy capped a remarkable year's golf with a superb late birdie blitz to win the DP World Tour Championship in Dubai.
The money list race may have been decided two weeks earlier, but that didn't stop the final day of the 2012 European Tour season ending in style at Jumeirah Golf Estates, where only a superb finish from the World No 1 prevented England's Justin Rose from stealing the show with an unbelievable final-round 10-under-par 62.
Rose had threatened to spoil the Northern Irishman's party by carding eight birdies and an eagle in a bogey-free round to surge up the leaderboard and take the clubhouse lead on 21 under par.
McIlroy suddenly found himself two shots behind, having probably reckoned that he was only in a title battle with Luke Donald, with whom he was tied overnight, but Rose threw a spanner in the works with his superb display.
True to the form that has seen rise to the top of the world rankings and become golf's undisputed king, however, McIlroy closed with five straight birdies to end his season in the kind of style it deserved.
He chipped close on the long 14th, pitched to three feet at the next, made a 20 footer on the 16th and went one ahead with a six foot putt on the short 17th.
Moments earlier, Rose had grabbed a birdie at the 18th with a superb two-putt from 100 feet, but McIlroy matched the feat, finishing with a five-under 66 and a 23 under par total to complete a two-stroke victory.
"I saw Justin make a charge - I heard the cheers," said McIlroy, "but to finish like that was great.
"I could not have wished for any better. To back up 2011 with another major and to be part of an unbelievable story at the Ryder Cup has made it an incredible year.
"But hopefully I can emulate it or do even better next year!"
It was McIlroy's fifth win of the year, including a second major title, to add to the PGA and European Tour money list double he achieved only weeks ago.
Donald, the man who had achieved the same double for the first time in history only a year earlier, could do no better than a one-under-par 71 on on the day, good enough for joint third on 18 under alongside South African Charl Schwartzel, who closed with a 68.
Countryman Louis Oosthuizen finished fourth a further shot back after a 69, while another South African, four-time European Tour winner Branden Grace, rounded out the top six on 16 under thanks to a 68.
Thailand's Thonchai Jaidee and Swede Henrik Stenson shared seventh place on 15 under after a pair of 68s.
Rose, meanwhile, may not have won, but his second-place finish lifted him to a career-high fourth in the world, knocking countryman Lee Westwood down to fifth.
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