There was no drama over the Race to Dubai as Rory McIlroy had the European Tour money list clinched before the start of the DP World Tour Championship. The only drama remaining was if Rory could capture yet another tournament in the final event of the European Tour season. There was plenty of drama and it not only centered around McIlroy, but Justin Rose as well.
After a bogey on the par-3 13th, a hole McIlroy would three-putt, Rose held a two-shot lead. Rose had a long eagle putt on the 18th, which was a masterful try. It came up a mere two inches short, and that might be an overestimate. Rose would settle for a birdie, a round of -10 (breaking the course record by two strokes) and ending the tourney at -21 and a one-shot lead as McIlroy strode toward the 16th tee.
But McIlroy was on what we could begin to refer to as a “Rors Roll”. He would run off five consecutive birdies starting with the 14th, a bounce back from his bogey on the 13th. A long birdie putt on the 16th would pull him into a tie with Rose…and Rory wasn’t exactly feeling well on this day. Sure he wasn’t…
In fact, for the entire week, McIlroy owned the back-nine at the Jumeirah Golf Estates. Finishing two shots clear of Rose at -23, Rors was -18 on the back for the entire tournament. His only bogey was during the final round on the aforementioned 13th. Other than that, he was perfect over the final nine in each round. His worst was a 3-under 33. His worst. On the other three rounds, he was 5-under 31.
If any golf-related publication, site, blog doesn’t have the 23-year-old as its player of the year, I can’t comprehend why that would not be the case. Yes, he had the lull in May and June, but once McIlroy found the game that had somewhat deserted him, it was, as they say, game on.
Look at McIlroy’s final ten tournaments…
PGA Championship: WIN
The Barclays: T24
Deutsche Bank: WIN
BMW Championship: WIN
TOUR Championship: T10
BMW Masters (ET): 2nd
Barclays Singapore: 3rd
UBS Hong Kong: MC
DP World Tour Championship: WIN
Four wins along with four other top-10 finishes. You can forgive the missed cut in Hong Kong. Pretty scary if you ask me. We haven’t seen a run like this since, well, you know it’s Tiger related.
Now having some time for R&R is well deserved for the world’s top player.
The European Tour 2013 season begins next week with the inaugural Nelson Mandela Championship at the Royal Durban Golf Club in Durban, South Africa.