The DP World Tour’s 2022 season drew to a close in dramatic fashion as Jon Rahm, the third round leader of the season-ending Tour Championship, held off Ryder Cup team-mates Tyrrell Hatton, Alex Noren and Rory McIlroy to win by two shots.
The Spaniard went into the final round with a narrow one-stroke lead, but reeled off three opening birdies to stretch that advantage before bouncing back from a bogey on the fourth with three more gains to sign for a closing 67 and finish the tournament on 20 under par.
Rahm’s victory continues his love affair with Jumeirah Golf Estates’ Earth Course, where he now has three wins and another top-five finish in four visits. He also adds a fifth Rolex Series title to his collection, becoming the first person to achieve the feat.
McIlroy won the other prize on offer this week, topping the DP World Tour Rankings in Partnership with Rolex to win the Harry Vardon Trophy for the fourth time. The Northern Irishman capped a hugely successful year by becoming the European Number One, World Number One and FedExCup Champion at the same time for the first time in his career.
Rahm never relinquished the lead on day four, but did not look totally comfortable at times, as a series of missed fairways gave hope to his challengers who were queuing up behind him. He took a two-shot lead to the last but an errant tee-shot landed him in tree trouble and he only just cleared the penalty area with his second shot. But his gamble paid off as he two-putted for par on the 18th green to storm to victory.
Tyrrell Hatton and Alex Noren finished in a tie for second on 18 under, with McIlroy two shots further back in fourth. Tommy Fleetwood and Matt Fitzpatrick were in a share of fifth place on 13 under, with the latter shooting a disappointing closing 73 to end his chances of finishing no.1 in Europe.
More on this story to come…..