Rory McIlroy misses out in Dubai as Stenson holds his nerve
Rory McIlroy almost claimed a fifth win of the season but had to settle for second place behind Henrik Stenson at the DP World Tour Chanpionship in Dubai.
McIlroy, five behind after nine holes, was tied for the lead despite missing a birdie putt on the final hole, as leading pair Stenson and Rafa Cabrera-Bello came back to the pack.
The Spaniard fell away after consecutive double bogeys, but defending champion Stenson showed his mettle with a smashing tee-shot on the par-three 17th giving him back the lead before another birdie on 18 sealed a two-shot win on 16 under par, his first since claiming the European Tour finale last year.
McIlroy, though, had already sealed victory in the year-long Race to Dubai and the roughly one million euro bonus prize that goes with it.
Not the week I wanted, unfortunately you can't win with your C game but proud of how I competed until the end. Congrats to @henrikstenson
— Rory Mcilroy (@McIlroyRory) November 23, 2014
Meanwhile, Shane Lowry has earned a place in next year's Masters after a superb final round this morning.
The world's top 50 players at the end of the season receive a guaranteed invitation to the year's first major at Augusta, and Lowry has frustratingly been on the fringes of that mark for the past few weeks.
However, a stunning six-under par effort saw the Offaly man finish fifth in the tournament, lifting him into the top-15 on the Race to Dubai and into that all-important top 50, meaning Lowry will be making his first trip up Magnolia Lane next April.
Graeme McDowell finished in a tie for 47th, while Michael Hoey finished last of the 60 players.