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Irishman finds fifth gear and speeds over the line to win the Race

Rory McIlroy won a third Race to Dubai title as he beat Andy Sullivan by one shot to win the DP World Tour Championship, Dubai.

The Northern Irishman arrived at Jumeirah Golf Estates knowing that a victory would not only give him a second triumph on the Earth Course but also a second consecutive European Tour crown.

On a dramatic final afternoon of The European Tour season, McIlroy did not have it all his own way as he went toe-to-toe on the leaderboard with Sullivan, with closest Race to Dubai rival Danny Willett snapping at his heels.

But four birdies in five holes from the 11th saw him surge ahead and even a bogey after finding the water on the 17th could not derail the 2012 champion as he signed for a 66 that left him at 21 under and one shot clear of Sullivan.

It means an awful lot, I had to play so well over the weekend. Dubai has been a pretty sweet place for me - Rory McIlroy

Willett won the season-opening Nedbank Golf Challenge and remained at the top of the standings for 14 weeks but McIlroy moved ahead of him in the spring of a campaign in which they were the only players to hold top spot.

The Englishman bogeyed two of his last three holes to drop to 13 under and a share of fourth, with Branden Grace - who closed with a 67 - securing third on his own at 15 under.

That was good enough to move Grace up to third in The Race to Dubai behind McIlroy and Willett while Sullivan moved into the Top 15 to take a share of the Bonus Pool.

Sullivan was looking for a fourth win of the season after his victories at The South African Open Championship Hosted by the City of Ekurhuleni, the Joburg Open and the Portugal Masters but could not keep McIlroy at bay with a 68.

Sir Henry Cotton Rookie of the Year candidates Byeong-hun An and Matthew Fitzpatrick were alongside Willett at 13 under with Emiliano Grillo, Francesco Molinari and Charl Schwartzel all also eight shots behind the winner.

Søren Kjeldsen was at 12 under as he secured a Top 15 finish in The Race to Dubai with two-time Major Championship winner Martin Kaymer and American Patrick. Justin Rose finished fourth in The Race to Dubai with Shane Lowry and Louis Oosthuizen then ahead of An and Sullivan.


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