Historic double for Collin Morikawa

As a true champion, author of a last lap in 66 (-6) once again without error, Collin Morikawa won at -17 (271) the DP World Tour Championship but also the Race to Dubai. A first for an American golfer. He leaves the English Matthew Fitzpatrick and the Swedish Alexander Björk three shots behind. In the hard this Sunday in Dubai, Antoine Rozner (72) and Victor Perez (75) finished respectively 39th and 46th.

He had announced the color by landing in Dubai with the status of No. 1 in the Race. Collin Morikawa wanted to make history by becoming the first American to finish at the top of the European Order of Merit. Here he intended to combine this wishful thinking with a success on the DP World Tour Championship, like Lee Westwood (in 2009), Rory McIlroy (in 2012 and 2015), Henrik Stenson (2013) and Jon Rahm (2019).

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By winning this Sunday with a final score of 66 (-6) and a total of -17 (271), three lengths ahead of the Englishman Matthew Fitzpatrick (also 66 today) and the Swedish Alexander Björk (70), the world No. 2 has therefore kept his word. And with the manner please.

In four laps, Morikawa thus conceded only four bogeys and achieved a masterful clear round during the weekend (69 and 66). Gone three points behind Rory McIlroy, the winner of theUSPGA 2020 in Harding Park was able to remain patient on the Earth Course of Jumeirah Golf Estates, thus making six pars in a row before a first birdie at 7.

The spotlight was not yet fully focused on him, oscillating between fourth and sixth place, the fault in particular of Matthew Fitzpatrick, winner here last year (but also in 2016) and who offered a real recital, turning -5 after nine holes and even finding himself alone in the lead at -15 after fifteen holes, just ahead of Rory McIlroy. Worse, his position as No. 1 in the Race was called into question and we began to imagine that he was going to meet the same fate as Patrick Reed in 2020, capped to the post by Lee Westwood.

But a double Fitzpatrick error at holes 16 and 17 for bogey each time and a stroke of luck at 15 for McIlroy (see below) magically put the American back on top of the leaderboard. In an ideal position after a cannon face-off on the fairway of par 4 of 15, McIlroy saw his ball touch the flag and finish its race in the bunker just behind. At the exit, the Northern Irishman was hit by a terrible bogey which, alas, would mark the end of his illusions this Sunday in the Emirates.

Stunned by this obvious lack of luck (Morikawa had had it on the par 3 of Friday 17th when his ball was held in the mini-rough by a yellow stake as it was heading towards the pond) McIlroy lined up another bogey on 16 before a last on par 5 of 18 after a ball in the river cutting the fairway in two. An end to the tournament that the former world No. 1 did not deserve, twice leading the tournament in four days …

Morikawa had done the job just before by slamming no less than four birdies on his last five holes, demonstrating his strength of character and his psychic power putter in hand. A total triumph on arrival for this young man of 24, elected life member of the European Tour in the middle of the week (although he has only played four specific events of the European Tour in two years), victorious of a World Championship in March (WGC-Workday Championship) and especially of The Open (in July) to Royal St. George’s. Born capped, he could even become world No. 1 in two weeks (2-5 December) if he wins the tournament sponsored by the Bahamas. Tiger Woods, the Hero World Challenge.

No The Open 2022 for now for Rozner and Perez

Far, very far from these projections, Antoine Rozner and Victor perez, the two Frenchmen engaged in this last event stamped European Tour (before the switch from next week in South Africa with the DP World Tour), had a difficult Sunday.

The Racingman, despite a sublime start (three birdies on his first three holes), must be content with a 72 (par) while the Tarbais concedes a heavy 75 (+3). They finish 39th and 46th respectively in the DP World Tour Championship. 44th and 47th in the Race, in 2022 they will have to take other paths to try to qualify for The Open at St. Andrews, reserved only for the final top 30 of this 2021 Race.

The leaderboard

The French leaderboard

Photo : DAVID CANNON / Getty Images via AFP


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