Rory McIlroy secured the Harry Vardon Trophy for a fourth time following his fourth-placed finish at the season-ending DP World Tour Championship.
McIlroy arrived at the Earth Course in Dubai in pole position to be crowned the DP World Tour’s champion golfer for 2022.
A slow start on Thursday and patchy play on Friday saw him slip behind Matt Fitzpatrick in the race for the top prize.
Tiger to put new golf ball in play in The Match as he looks to add distance to his game
The Northern Irishman surged into contention with a round of 65 on Saturday, and began the final day at the top of the rankings.
Fitzpatrick was the only player capable of dislodging him, but the US Open champion had a horror day on a course he loves.
After playing superbly for two days, Fitzpatrick stuttered on Saturday and despite starting the day in the final group on Sunday, he dropped like a stone.
- 'Laughable' - Rahm hits out at golf's new ranking system
- 'Exit stage left' - McIlroy says Norman must leave LIV to fix golf's rift
Fitzpatrick’s round of 73 allowed McIlroy to focus on the tournament and although he was unable to reel in winner Jon Rahm, his score of 16-under secured him the Harry Vardon Trophy - backing up wins in 2012, 2014 and 2015.
“It means a lot,” McIlroy said after being crowned the DP World Tour’s champion golfer for a fourth time. “It’s been seven years since I last did it. This is my fourth one. It feels just as good as the last time.
“It has been a while. I won three FedEx Cups since the last time.
“This fourth one, I was a model of consistency through the whole year. It has been a consistent season and I kept putting in good performances.
“I am really proud of my year and really excited for 2023.”
DP World Tour Rankings
- 1. Rory McIlroy
- 2. Ryan Fox
- 3. Jon Rahm
- 4. Matt Fitzpatrick
- 5. Tommy Fleetwood
- 6. Viktor Hovland
- 7. Will Zalatoris
- 8. Adrian Meronk
- 9. Shane Lowry
- 10. Thomas Pieters
It was a notable effort, as it meant that McIlroy ticked off another career achievement as it came in the same season he won the FedEx Cup on the PGA Tour - as well as returning to world No. 1.
McIlroy is now joint-third alongside Peter Oosterhuis on the list of Harry Vardon Trophy winners, with only Colin Montgomerie (eight) and Seve Ballesteros (six) ahead of him.
McIlroy also had words of praise for Rahm, whose success was his third victory at the DP World Tour Championship, and is hopeful he can spearhead a charge to Ryder Cup glory next year.
“Well done to Jon, he is such a great player and Europe is so lucky to have him," McIlroy said. "I am looking forward to next year at Rome and playing with him and getting that Ryder Cup back."
Alfred Dunhill Championship
Jamieson sets course record at Leopard Creek, Oosthuizen and Pepperell make big moves
McIlroy: The Match appealing to 'different audiences' is a great thing
Share this article