Rory McIlroy finished with five straight birdies to shoot a 6-under 66 and win the Dubai World Championship by two strokes over Justin Rose on Sunday.
The 23-year-old has had a pretty historic year, winning the PGA Championship and the European and the PGA tour money titles.
The top-seeded McIlroy started off the final day shaky after having early putting issues, but finished for a total 23-under 265 at the tournament.
“I just wanted to finish the season the way I thought I deserved to finish the season,” McIlroy said after holing a birdie on 18 and raising his arms in the air in celebration. “You know, I played so well throughout the year and I didn’t want to just let it tail off sort of timidly. I wanted to come here and finish in style.”
McIlroy was able to hold off Rose, who came into the day tied for seventh after three rounds. He made a valiant push down the stretch into contention after shooting a course-record 62, but finished second for a score of 21-under.
Luke Donald and Charl Schwartzel finished with a total of 18-under 265 for a third place tie. Louis Oosthuizen rounded out the top five with a score of 17-under.
Coming into the final day of the competition all eyes were on McIlroy and Donald, who were tied for the lead after the third round. Donald grabbed an early two-shot lead after McIlroy bogeyed the first hole and Donald birdied the second hole.
But Donald began to collapse on the No. 3 after three-putting the hole. He also had another bogey on the twelfth hole, which allowed McIlroy to reclaim the lead.
During the intense battle between McIlroy and Donald, Rose managed to work his way up the leader board. Rose pulled to within one of McIlroy after a birdie and took the lead after nailing an eagle of the 14th hole.
Rose settled for a birdie of the 18th hole and had to wait to see what McIlroy did on the last two holes.
“I thought it was going to be good, to be honest,” Rose said. “I caught a glimpse of the board walking to the 18th tee. I saw Rory had gone birdie, birdie, and he’s putting the squeeze on. But I knew that is what Rory does.”
McIlroy hit the shot of his tournament on the 17th hole, landing a 5-iron within a few feet of the hole. He went on to birdie the hole to take the lead into the 18th hole.
“The most pleasing shot for me on that stretch was the iron shot on 17,” he said. “I think that was big shot. You could easily be a lot right into the bunker and leave yourself a tricky up-and down. I committed to it and hit a great shot and followed it with a great putt for birdie to give myself that cushion going into the last.”
McIlroy finished out the 18th hole with a birdie to capture the title and reflect on an impressive year that he has had.