Fleetwood on top after dramatic Dubai finale
Tommy Fleetwood ended the European Tour season as the Race to Dubai winner after a thrilling finish in the season finale DP World Tour Championship.
Fleetwood, who set a new course record at Carnoustie last month, venue of The 147th Open, struggled in his final round but did just enough to hold off compatriot Justin Rose to take the Harry Vardon Trophy. The 26-year-old finished with a final round 74 to end the tournament tied 21st, which was enough to take the season-long race by €58,821.
The top 30 players in the final Race to Dubai standings secured their place at The 147th Open next July – including Jordan Smith who narrowly missed out on playing at Royal Birkdale earlier this year. The Englishman impressed by finishing ninth at The PGA Championship in August – his first major appearance.
Rose wilts at the death
Justin Rose, the reigning Olympic Champion who shot to fame at The Open in 1998 as an amateur, looked set to steal Fleetwood’s crown with his late season rally. Having won in China and in Turkey in his last two tournament starts, to trim Fleetwood’s lead, he came into the final round chasing victory and the end of season prize. At the turn of the final round at the Jumeirah Golf Estates Rose was favourite to win both the tournament and the season-long crown but a string of bogeys in his back nine halted his charge and he required an eagle at the 18th to leapfrog Fleetwood in the standings. Rose finished tied for fourth on 17-under as Jon Rahm – who rises to No.4 in the world after an incredible rookie season – won the season finale.
What they said
Fleetwood said: “This is the biggest day of my career, but it is a weird one as I felt for Justin. “I was honestly thinking ‘I’ve lost it here’ and it hasn’t sunk in yet. The achievement is massive, it holds a lot of respect amongst your peers and the players. It shows the amount I’ve improved as a player and as a person.”
Rose said: “I guess I just hit the wall. It’s tough to come up just one shot short. But Tommy’s been leading for most of the year, and he’s battled really hard these past few weeks. He deserved to finish it off.”
Schnell Carnoustie bound
Brady Schnell booked his spot at The 147th Open at Carnoustie after the American took the 112 VISA Open de Argentina in a play-off. Schnell held off his compatriot Matt Ryan and Norway’s Andreas Halvorsen at the Jockey Club in San Isidro. At the RSM Classic in Florida, rookie Austin Cook claimed his maiden PGA Tour title as 2015 Champion Golfer of the Year Zach Johnson finished tied for eighth.