Fleetwood wins Race to Dubai title as Rose falls short; Rahm triumphs

Reuters
Rose looked in complete control of the tournament and was cruising after 11 holes, but he bogeyed three of the next five to slip down the leaderboard.
Reuters
AFP

Jon Rahm of Spain and Tommy Fleetwood of England pose with their trophies at the end of the final round of the DP World Tour Golf Championship at Jumeirah Golf Estates in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, on November 19, 2017. Fleetwood won the European Tour Order of Merit — or Race to Dubai champion — while Rahm rallied for a one-stroke victory at the tournament.

Tommy Fleetwood was crowned Race to Dubai champion on Sunday after a poor back nine from fellow Briton Justin Rose handed him the title on the final day of the European Tour season at the DP World Tour Championship.

A win by either Rose, second in the points standings before the tournament, or leader Fleetwood would have guaranteed them the Race to Dubai title and a US$1.25-million bonus.

As it turned out, with Fleetwood sitting in the clubhouse after a scrappy final found of 74, Rose needed only to finish alone in fourth to take the title.

Rose looked in complete control of the tournament and was cruising after 11 holes, but he bogeyed three of the next five to slip down the leaderboard.

It still went to the wire, however, and if Rose had holed from the front fringe for eagle at the 72nd, he would have snatched the Race to Dubai crown.

It was not to be, however, as his putt drifted left of the hole, meaning Fleetwood took home the glory, with Rose finishing in a four-way tie for fourth on 17 under par after a final-round 70, alongside Masters champion Sergio Garcia (65) of Spain and the South African duo of Dylan Frittelli (69) and Dean Burmester (68).

The US$8-million season finale at Jumeirah Golf Estates was won by Spain's Jon Rahm, after he followed his impressive round of 65 on day three with a 67 on Sunday to become the only multiple winner of a Rolex Series tournament this season.

Just two shots separated Rose and Fleetwood going into Sunday’s showdown, after both players posted near-perfect third-round 65s on Saturday, and it was Fleetwood who gained some early momentum as he birdied the first.

He then looked erratic, however, as five bogeys opened the door for Rose.

"It's amazing. You start the season in November/December and you are watching the last shot of the season to see who wins. It's very special," said Fleetwood.

"I didn't play how I wanted to today. It wasn't pretty.”

Rahm’s 5-under-par final round saw the Spaniard capitalize on Rose’s late slip, with Thailand’s Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Ireland’s Shane Lowry — whose brilliant final round of 63 was his lowest round score since 2011 — tied second.


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