Matthew Fitzpatrick secured a second season-ending DP World Tour Championship and Lee Westwood won the European Tour’s Race to Dubai for a third time on a dramatic final day over the Earth course.
Fitzpatrick, who won the event in 2016, started the day level with compatriot Laurie Canter and American Patrick Reed but quickly separated himself from the pair with four birdies in his opening four holes.
The Englishman gained another shot on the seventh then reeled off nine consecutive pars before making bogey on the 17th. That left the 26 year old with a one stroke lead ahead of Westwood, who had set the clubhouse target at 14 under, as he teed off from the 18th knowing a par would be enough to secure the title after both Canter and Reed had dropped shots on the closing stretch.
Fitzpatrick duly delivered to sign for a four under par 68 to claim the final Rolex Series event of the season.
“It’s an amazing day,” said Fitzpatrick, who jumped from 16th to second on the Race to Dubai. “Four birdies in the first four and to then be five-under through seven, it’s a dream start. Fortunately, I managed to pull away and really create some distance.
“It was obviously a bit of a grind on the back nine. For me it was just about finishing one hole at a time and just getting through it. I managed to do that and finished well.”
Westwood also carded a four under par 68 which included birdies in two of his last three holes to snatch solo second and be crowned European Number One for the third time. At the age of 47 years, 7 months and 20 days, he becomes the oldest Race to Dubai Champion in the history of the European Tour and 20 years after he first won the season-long Order of Merit.
“Obviously it’s been a bizarre year for so many reasons and the European Tour, first and foremost, have done an incredible job to pick the season up again from July when I hosted the British Masters,” said Westwood.
“It was a great finish, it’s always exciting this tournament coming down the stretch. It’s been 20 years since I sat there at Valderrama and finished second in the American Express Championship to win the Volvo Order of Merit as it was back then.
“I won here in 2009 to win the Race to Dubai and now I’ve finished second to win it today. It’s not getting any easier and I’m just enjoying playing golf against these great young players.”
Patrick Reed entered the week on top of the Race to Dubai Rankings and remained there for much of the day but bogeys on the 16th and 17th saw him finish one shot away from being the first American to seal the Harry Vardon Trophy.
Norwegian Viktor Hovland finished alongside Reed, one shot clear of Finn Sami Välimäki and England’s Laurie Canter, with Frenchman Victor Perez at ten under.
Reed share of third saw him drop down to third in the Race to Dubai Rankings while former champion Tommy Fleetwood, who posted a final round three under par 69, finished fourth. American Collin Morikawa finished alongside Fleetwood in a share of tenth at Jumeirah Golf Estates as he ended the season in fifth position on the Race to Dubai.