Rory McIlroy underlined his place among the world’s best golfers – if not the world’s best golfer, although Jordan Spieth and Jason Day will have something to say about that – by winning the World Tour Championship in Dubai. More importantly than the title, this victory allowed him to finish the season as Europe’s best golfer, winning the prestigious Race to Dubai.
McIlroy’s victory in the Race to Dubai means that he has now won the title two years in a row, and three times in total. Englishman Danny Willett’s 4th place in the World Tour Championship means that he finishes the season in 2nd place in the Race to Dubai, while South Africa’s Branden Grace finished in 3rd. Throughout the season, McIlroy also had the lowest strokes average (69.28), as well as the most greens in regulation (80.1%), which both further underline his incredible ability.
In the World Tour Championship, McIlroy finished one shot ahead of Englishman Andy Sullivan, thanks to a closing round of 66, which left him on -21 for the tournament. Victory wasn’t simple though, as he found the water on the 17th to give hope to Sullivan. A 30ft birdie saved him on the hole though, ensuring he dropped just one shot and stayed in front of his pursuer. The one shot gap remained for the rest of the round, and gave him the title.
Aside from the prestige McIlroy gained from victory, he also gained a huge boost to his bank balance. For winning the World Tour Championship he pocketed a prize of £934,599, and he also took home a cheque for £822,828 for finishing at the top of the Race to Dubai leaderboard.
There was some controversy surrounding McIlroy’s win though, as an ankle injury prevented him from competing in many events this season, including The Open at St Andrews. This meant that he didn’t compete enough to qualify for the end-of-season finale, however he was given an exemption by the European Tour to allow him to play. Would this same courtesy have been extended to any other player though?
After winning the title, McIlroy said “It’s the best way to finish 2015 and I can’t wait for next year.” But what will the Northern Irishman be hoping for during 2016? The answer is probably an easy one – a return to the top of the world rankings, and more major titles to add to his already impressive collection…