Rahm resists Fleetwood surge, wins Race to Dubai

Dubai (AFP) –


Jon Rahm overcame a nervous back nine and a ferocious final-round charge by Tommy Fleetwood to win the DP World Tour Championship by one shot and clinch the Race to Dubai title on Sunday.

The 25-year-old is the first Spaniard in the history of the European Tour to clinch top spot since the late Seve Ballesteros in 1991.

The tournament win fetched him a cheque of $3 million, the biggest-ever in the history of competitive golf, while the Race to Dubai win meant he also secured $2 million top prize from the Bonus Pool.

Rahm started the final day tied for the lead with France’s Mike Lorenzo-Vera at 15-under par, and after making five birdies in his first seven holes, he had opened up a six-shot advantage over his nearest challenger.

However, Rahm dropped shots on the next two holes and had slipped back to 18-under par when he stepped up to the 18th tee.

Fleetwood had set the clubhouse lead at the same score after a brilliant closing round of seven-under par 65, which included five birdies in his last seven holes.

Needing to make sure he made a par on the last to get into a play-off, Rahm played an exquisite bunker shot under pressure to three feet and made his birdie putt to edge ahead of Fleetwood and secure his second DP World Tour Championship title at 19-under par 269.

Lorenzo-Vera (70) had to be satisfied with a third-place finish at 271 and will have to wait for his first win on the European Tour.

Northern Ireland’s world No2 Rory McIlroy ended a disappointing day with a 73, but that was good enough for sole fourth place at 276.

Scotland’s Robert MacIntyre (69) won the Rookie of the Year title after he finished tied 14th at six-under par. His closest challenger, USA’s Kurt Kitayama (73), was 48th in the 50-man field.