Jon Rahm and Rory McIlroy shared the spoils in Dubai as the Spaniard won the DP World Tour Championship, Dubai, and the World Number One ended the season at the top of the DP World Tour Rankings in Partnership with Rolex for a fourth time.
Rahm carded a five under par round of 67 to finish two strokes clear of a world-class field at the 2022 DP World Tour season-ending event, winning the DP World Tour Championship for a third time and securing a record fifth Rolex Series title.
The Spaniard was pushed to the wire by Ryder Cup teammates Tyrrell Hatton and Alex Noren who set the clubhouse target of 18 under, but Rahm would go one better than his previous winning totals from 2017 and 2019 as he finished on 20 under par.
McIlroy went into the week at Jumeriah Golf Estates with one hand on the Harry Vardon Trophy but faced stiff competition from three-time DP World Tour winner Ryan Fox and U.S. Open champion Matt Fitzpatrick who were bidding to become European Number One for the first time.
A four under par final round saw McIlroy finish in fourth place on 16 under par, etching his name on the Harry Vardon Trophy once again and joining England’s Peter Oosterhuis as a four-time winner of the prestigious title, finishing 580.5 points ahead of New Zealand’s Ryan Fox who finishes the season in second place.
The victory ends a remarkable year for the Northern Irishman, who becomes the second player in history to win both the DP World Tour Rankings and the PGA TOUR’s FedEx Cup in the same season.
Fitzpatrick and fellow Ryder Cup player Tommy Fleetwood shared fifth on 13 under, two strokes clear of exciting youngsters Rasmus Højgaard of Denmark and Poland’s Adrian Meronk.
Jon Rahm: “Because of COVID I never got a chance to defend my 2019 title and even though I decided not to come last year, I came with the mentality that, well, nobody beat me in the last two years, so they are going to have to beat me again. I came in with that confidence; a lot of similarities to the past. Last time I won here I started (the final round) at 15-under. I had a heck of a front nine and shot 20-under to win it. I like this course and this course likes me. I hope this is third of many more.
“Hopefully people can stop telling me that it was a bad year. Three wins world wild, three wins in three different continents, yeah, it wasn’t a major championship but it’s still a really, really good season. You know, had a second boy this year, a lot of changes at home — it also helps. I got a lot of videos from my kids back home laughing and doing things.
“I do draw from some memories. Kelley sent me a video of our youngest when he was clapping, and that’s what I was thinking on the last few holes, hopefully try to make him clap a little bit more.”
Rory McIlroy: “It means a lot. It’s been seven years since I’ve last done it. Obviously this is my fourth one but it’s been a while. I’ve won three FedEx Cups since the last time I won, which was The Race to Dubai back then.
“I was a model of consistency the whole way through the year. A lot of top finishes. I think my worst finish of the DP World Tour events I played this year was 12th at the start of the year in Abu Dhabi. A really consistent season putting in good performances. Would have been nice to get one win in there at the end of the year here. But Jon obviously played an incredible tournament and fully deserved it. I’m really proud of my year, and excited for 2023.
“One of the things I’m really proud of over the last few years is I don’t feel I have to rely on one aspect of my game. I think if my driving isn’t there, then my putter bails me out. If my putter isn’t there, my iron play bails me out. I feel like when you get to this level, it’s like, okay, how can you make those incremental improvements to get better, and I think my goal has been to just become a more complete golfer and I feel like I’m on the journey to doing that.
“I’m as complete a golfer as I feel like I’ve ever been, and hopefully I can continue on that path.”