Westwood finished in second place at 14 under par after a 4 under 68 on his last lap, which was enough to jump to the top of the Race to Dubai standings – but only after rivals collapsed in the final holes at Jumeirah Golf. Successions.
Patrick Reed, seeking to become the first American to be Europe’s best player, bugged our 16s and 17s to retire from the Race to Dubai title. Then Laurie Canter doubled No.17 and could only parry the last, leaving Westwood alone in second.
Fitzpatrick pared at No.18 for a one-stroke victory to win the tour’s season-ending event for the second time (2016), but Westwood was already celebrating a bigger prize after watching the final holes in the log cabin with his girlfriend-shopping cart. .
“It was a great finish,” Westwood said. “I sat there watching it – it’s always exciting this tournament, on the downhill and there are always thrills and overflows.
“There was the Race to Dubai to win, the tournament. It was an exciting end of the year. It is difficult to quantify. ”
Full scores of the DP World Tour Championship, Dubai
Westwood won what was once the Order of Merit title for the first time 20 years ago in Valderrama, and again in 2009 in Dubai.
A former top tier player, Westwood is renowned for being one of the greatest golfers to ever win a major, but there is no doubt about his status as an elderly statesman on the European Tour.
Still a champion too.
And, he reminded her, almost a shoo-in now for a place on the European squad for the Ryder Cup postponed next year at Whistling Straits. This would be his 11th appearance in golf’s biggest team event.
“The Ryder Cup would be great if I got back to it,” Westwood said, hesitating. “I would love to play again but at some point I hope I will be offered the captain position. I would love to do it.
“There are times when you have to move through different chapters of your life. It’s nice to watch these young kids play, they tear it up over there. I enjoyed the Ryder Cup last time when I was vice captain. It’s a lot less pressure than having to hit the greens and drill the putts yourself.
Baby face Fitzpatrick is one of those young guys, with the 26-year-old Englishman now a two-time World Tour Championship winner.
He started the final round tied for the lead with Reed and Canter, and birdieed the first four holes after a precise iron play to move to a three-stroke lead.
Reed managed to keep in touch with his short game which has been in great shape all week, playing for birdie at the seventh hole through 5 and again at No.15 to move from a tie for third to second place , which would have been enough to win the Race to Dubai.
However, he pushed a long par at No. 16 to lose the Race to Dubai lead – putting Fitzpatrick instead – and also bogeyed by 3 17th, after finding a bunker off the tee.
From the sidelines to No.18, Reed took third place alongside Viktor Hovland after a 70. They were two strokes away from Fitzpatrick, who knew that a par at No.18 would be enough to win the tournament, otherwise the Race to Dubai Title.
He took his tee shot into the rough ground, returned to the fairway and found the center of the green with his approach. He left himself a nervous 3-footer for normal, but that was never in doubt.
Fitzpatrick was full of praise for Westwood.
“Lee is just the definition of touring, isn’t he? ” he said. “Just a phenomenal player, and has been for so long now. I cannot speak too much of him.