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Fitzpatrick ends 2016 on a high in Dubai !

Tournament: DP World Tour Championship, Dubai
Venue: The Earth Course, Jumeirah Golf Estates
Prize fund: US$8,000,000
Hashtag: #DPWTC

Final round report

Matthew Fitzpatrick continued his remarkable rise by claiming his third European Tour title on a dramatic final day of the 2016 season at the DP World Championship, Dubai.

The 22 year old Englishman took advantage of Tyrrell Hatton’s bogey on the 18th hole with a closing birdie to swap positions with his compatriot at the top of the leaderboard, with his final round 67 sealing a one stroke victory.

Fitzpatrick only claimed his maiden European Tour title 13 months ago at the British Masters supported by Sky Sports, but since then he has also won the Nordea Masters and featured in his first Ryder Cup at Hazeltine National.

His victory at Jumeirah Golf Estates now means he is the youngest Englishman to win three European Tour titles, beating Sir Nick Faldo’s previous record from 1980 by a margin of 220 days.

The win also earned Fitzpatrick the biggest pay day of his fledgling career – a cheque for €1,217,174 - and moved him into sixth position on the final 2016 Race to Dubai Rankings presented by Rolex, a spot securing him a further €319,509 as part of the top ten Bonus Pool.

Meanwhile, Hatton’s only bogey of the day on the last meant he ended the year with a round of 68, but the Alfred Dunhill Links champion’s second place finish behind Fitzpatrick meant he replaced Rory McIlroy in fourth position on the Race to Dubai. The top spot in the season-long contest went to Henrik Stenson for a second time in four years following the Swede’s final round of 65, which meant he finished alongside McIlroy in a four-way share of ninth position on 12 under par.

Player quotes

Matthew Fitzpatrick:

“I love playing golf obviously but it’s been a long year for me, and I’ve got to admit, this is just icing on the cake. As a year goes, it’s been a great one.
“I had a rough idea (what happened to Tyrrell) on the last. I saw that he had missed a putt and there were a few groans in the crowd. But it wasn’t until I saw the scores and that I knew what I needed for the win. Tyrrell, he’s a great lad, he was just coming down and I saw him as I was walking into the scorer’s and he said congratulations. For someone to do that after he’s been in contention is very special. He’s a credit to the tour.

“This win means the world. To win one of these Final Series events is really special, and this one in particular, being the last tournament of the year is special. Words can’t describe it. It’s not going to sink in for a while. But you know, it’s been a special year and then to end it like this with a win is amazing.”

Tyrrell Hatton:

“It’s a bitter pill to swallow, but it’s been a great week and for me it’s been the best year of my life. So I can’t get too downbeat, these things happen. You know, it is what it is and I’m happy with how the week went. I’m sure hopefully in the future, I’ll take my next chance.

“It was nice to be up there. You know, my putter helped me out a lot this week. I felt I played better tee-to-green the other previous weeks. Just this week I putted well and that’s what it boils down to. It was nice to be up there again and I’m looking forward to some time off now before the start of the new season.”

Henrik Stenson:

“It was a nice way to finish. If you’re going to be Europe’s Number One, you don’t want to finish with a 75, even if you can afford it. It was nice to play some good golf finally and to shoot a good number on a Sunday. That never hurts. It was a solid round of golf today, and it just sneaked me into the top ten.  And top-tens are always fine.”

Rory McIlroy:

“I really got it going around the end of the front nine there and thought there could have been something really special on. Looking at the board, I was six-under through nine, thinking I was maybe three behind at that point, but it wasn’t quite meant to be. I just didn’t quite keep that momentum going into the back nine, but it is still a good 65 to finish. I played nicely and I’m looking forward to a few weeks off.

“I look back on the week, and Thursday is the day that I’m going to rue. If I had even just shot something around level par, or one under, I would have been right in the tournament. But these things happen, and I played well for the remaining three days and at least I redeemed myself a little bit.”

Complete final round scores

271 M Fitzpatrick  (Eng) 69 69 66 67,
272 T Hatton (Eng) 71 66 67 68,
274 C Schwartzel  (RSA) 70 67 70 67,
275 V Dubuisson  (Fra) 70 69 64 72, N Colsaerts  (Bel) 67 71 66 71, S Kjeldsen (Den) 70 69 68 68, B Wiesberger  (Aut) 70 67 70 68, F Molinari (Ita) 68 67 70 70,
276 J Campillo (Esp) 72 71 68 65, R McIlroy  (Nir) 75 68 68 65, T Fleetwood  (Eng) 70 71 67 68, H Stenson (Swe) 72 69 70 65,
277 D Horsey (Eng) 72 71 67 67, J Luiten (Ned) 68 69 73 67, L Westwood (Eng) 66 70 69 72, B An (Kor) 70 69 70 68,
278 J Wang (Kor) 75 72 65 66, R Fisher (Eng) 72 71 67 68,
279 S Lowry  (Irl) 70 71 69 69, S Garcia  (Esp) 68 67 74 70, T Olesen (Den) 71 70 68 70, M Kaymer (Ger) 71 74 67 67,
280 R Karlberg  (Swe) 72 70 67 71, J Quesne  (Fra) 67 76 68 69, R Cabrera Bello (Esp) 71 71 63 75, A Noren  (Swe) 71 69 69 71,
281 A Levy (Fra) 69 73 71 68, F Aguilar (Chi) 74 73 67 67, B Grace  (RSA) 72 74 65 70,
282 R Paratore (Ita) 70 73 70 69, L Haotong (Chn) 74 70 69 69, G Coetzee (RSA) 72 70 71 69, R Sterne  (RSA) 70 70 71 71, N Elvira  (Esp) 70 69 68 75,
283 J Van Zyl (RSA) 69 71 73 70, K Aphibarnrat (Tha) 69 74 73 67, D Lipsky (USA) 72 71 72 68, G Bourdy (Fra) 72 73 68 70, C Wood  (Eng) 75 72 71 65,
284 J Lagergren (Swe) 74 69 72 69, A Cañizares  (Esp) 73 72 70 69, S Hend (Aus) 72 73 69 70, A Sullivan (Eng) 76 66 70 72, T Pieters  (Bel) 72 72 70 70, T Jaidee (Tha) 74 70 70 70,
285 L Oosthuizen  (RSA) 69 74 74 68, R Gouveia (Por) 72 69 71 73, P Harrington (Irl) 72 71 71 71,
286 R Jacquelin (Fra) 72 71 72 71,
287 M Ilonen  (Fin) 70 73 73 71, D Willett  (Eng) 71 70 76 70,
288 M Fraser (Aus) 69 74 78 67, P Larrazábal (Esp) 71 71 71 75,
289 R Bland (Eng) 71 76 70 72, M Southgate  (Eng) 72 74 70 73,
290 S Lee (Kor) 71 73 76 70,
292 R Wattel  (Fra) 82 68 70 72, B Dredge (Wal) 72 75 72 73,
293 B Stone (RSA) 74 73 74 72,
294 A Johnston (Eng) 78 70 78 68,

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