The clutch bunker shot that won Jon Rahm €4.5 million in Dubai
Having bogeyed four of eight holes, coming down the stretch, Jon Rahm was able to steel himself and make serious bank.
Jon Rahm sealed the DP World Tour Championship and the Race to Dubai (European Tour Order of Merit) in one, fell swoop with a peach of a bunker shot on the 18th. Shane Lowry and Rory McIlroy, meanwhile, did not have it all their own way but finished their season €631,000 and €305,000 better off.
The Spaniard, who was joint leader going into the final round, birdied five of his first seven holes at the Jumeirah course to scorch onto -20. After that, he faltered.
With fellow overnight leader Mike Lorenzo-Vera and Rory McIlroy, who started off two shots back, struggling to get going, Rahm had a golden opportunity to make it a procession but back-to-back bogeys before the turn dented his confidence.
What followed was a mix of the sublime and ordinary as the 25-year-old went birdie-par-par-bogey-birdie-bogey. That left him on -18 with three to play, by which stage Lorenzo-Vera had climbed to -17 and another challenger had roared from the chasing pack.
Tommy Fleetwood started four strokes back on Sunday morning but he picked up seven birdies from the 5th to the 18th to finish on -18. It meant that Rahm would have to birdie the par-five closing hole to win the event and, with it, the Race to Dubai.
His tee shot was on the money but his approach to the 18th green found a bunker. It was looking likely that Rahm and Fleetwood would go to a playoff but the Spaniard had other ideas:
— The European Tour (@EuropeanTour) November 24, 2019
That clutch bunker shot and his coolly dispatched putt saw Rahm win two titles in one. He claimed €2.7m for winning the DP World Tour Championship and, as he topped the European Order of Merit, he was crowned 2019 Race to Dubai champ.
He banked an additional €1.8m for that honour and leaves Dubai €4.5m richer and is set to move from fifth to fourth when the Official World Golf Rankings are updated on Monday.
As for the Irish challenge, McIlroy finished tied for fourth after carding a +1 round of 73. Disappointingly for McIlroy, he was the only finisher in the top 10 to card an over par round on the closing day. McIlroy gets €305,000 for his fourth place finish at the Jumeirah course.
Shane Lowry finished down in 12th after closing out with a 2-under round of 70. The Offaly native will get a cheque of €86,000 for that and he gets €545,000 for finishing fourth in the Race to Dubai standings.