by Bernie McGuire, Jumeirah Estates, Dubai
Rory McIlroy may not have captured the season-ending DP World Tour Championship (DPWTC) but he has become only the second player in a season to be crowned by European Tour No. 1 and also PGA Tour FedEx Cup No. 1
McIlroy ended his season sharing third place on 16-under-par with super Spaniard Jon Rahm capturing the final event of the DP World season here on the Earth course in Dubai.
The current World No. 1 ranked McIlroy arrived in Dubai quietly-confident of making it a DP World Tour double however he was always playing catch-up following his opening round of 71. Though you can never question McIlroy’s determination as he brilliantly ended Friday’s second round with an eagle ‘3’ and then produced an equal best score of 65 on ‘moving day’ that edged him to within two shots of Rahm.
On the last day of the final event of the 50th anniversary DP World Tour year Rahm was too strong, as evident when he birdied his opening three holes, in eventually recording a last day 67 to win by two shots at 20-under and record a third success in the DPWTC, and end his season at DP World No. 3
Kiwi Ryan Fox, a double Tour winner in 2022, officially is second on the Race to Dubai and after a closing 68 for a share of 19th place at 19-under-par.
McIlroy’s effort, not only matched Henrik Stenson in ending a season as both the DP World Tour and PGA Tour FedEx Cup winner in 2013, it is also the fourth occasion, at the end of a 15th full season in the pro ranks, the Northern Irishman has ended a DP World Tour year as No. 1 and winner of the Harry Vardon trophy. England’s Luke Donald won the Race to Dubai in 2011 after ending the PGA Tour as leading money-winner but he did not claim the FedEx Cup crown.
“I am very proud of myself and, in fact, Harry and I were talking going up the last fairway as it seemed like a long time since San Antonio and the Texas Open. In the week before Augusta this year, when I was struggling a little bit I made a couple of tweaks with my game and my equipment, and went to a new golf ball,” said McIlroy.
“It seemed like just after that my year turned around and got a ton of momentum at the Masters and I just continued from there.”
McIlroy has some three weeks away from formal competition ahead of The Match taking place on December 10th when he and Tiger Woods take on Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth. The seventh edition of the event will take place at Pelican Golf Club in Belleair, Florida, and feature four of golf’s brightest stars going head-to-head in a 12-hole competition.
In the meantime, McIlroy will jet home to his family, and can be rightfully proud of his season.
“One of the things I am really proud of over the last year, I feel as though I don’t have to rely on one aspect of my game,” he said. “If my driving is not there, then my putter bails me out. If my putter isn’t there, then my iron play bails me out. I just feel like when you get to his level it’s like okay how can you make those mental improvements to get better.
“My goal has always been to become a more complete golfer and I feel like I am on the journey to achieving that. I am as complete a golfer as I feel like even being and may I continue along that path.”
2022 OFFICIAL DP WORLD TOUR STANDINGS (Top-10)
- Rory McIlroy
- Ryan Fox
- Jon Rahm
- Matt Fitzpatrick
- Tommy Fleetwood
- Vicktor Hovland
- Will Zalatoris
- Adrian Meronk
- Shane Lowry
- Thomas Pieters