Westwood takes Race to Dubai crown as Fitzpatrick seals victory

By Rob Lancaster 13 December 2020 2
Westwood takes Race to Dubai crown as Fitzpatrick seals victory

Matt Fitzpatrick and Lee Westwood were both able to celebrate at the DP World Tour Championship as the Race to Dubai came to a dramatic conclusion on Sunday.

Having sat tied for the lead with Laurie Canter and Patrick Reed ahead of the final round, Fitzpatrick produced a stunning start to storm clear at the summit.

The Englishman birdied five of his opening seven holes at Jumeirah Golf Estates, reaching the turn in 31 shots to leave him a comfortable cushion to defend on the back nine.

A succession of pars kept him clear as the chasing pack closed in. While there was a blemish with a bogey at 17, Fitzpatrick finished one clear on 15 under par to claim his sixth tournament win.

Westwood ended up alone in second place after birdies at 16 and 18 saw him sign for a score of 68, enough to see him finish on top of the European Tour's end-of-season rankings.

It is a third Order of Merit crown for the ever-consistent Englishman, who becomes the oldest champion at the age of 47 years, seven months and 20 days. His first came 20 years ago, while he also reigned again in 2009.

His latest success was even more impressive considering Westwood was not certain to take part in the event, having arrived in Dubai with a back injury. 

"On Monday I didn't even know if I was going to play, so I'd like to thank the physio unit for torturing me every day, stretching me into places I didn't think I could get into to get me ready to tee off on Thursday morning," Westwood told Sky Sports.

Reed had held top spot in the Race to Dubai standings but was unable to become the first American to take home the title, despite a stunning second round of 64 boosting his hopes.

The world number 11 was unable to find the same form over the weekend, however, as successive scores of 71 and 70 left him in a tie for third place, alongside Norwegian Viktor Hovland, on 13 under.

Sami Valimaki and Canter finished a further shot adrift, the latter enduring an up-and-down day that saw him mix in six birdies with three bogeys and a double at the 17th hole.

About Author

Rob Lancaster