Wednesday, December 6, 2023
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HomeEuropean TourMagnificent Morikawa seals dramatic Dubai double

Magnificent Morikawa seals dramatic Dubai double

Morikawa, whose last bogey of the tournament came on the 13th hole during round two, had to be patient in the final round as he picked up only one shot on the front nine. But his round took flight from the 12th hole, when a birdie three kicked off an incredible run of five birdies in the final seven holes.

With the Californian piling the pressure on third round leader Rory McIlroy, the Northern Irishman suffered a horrid stroke of bad fortune at the 15th, his approach hitting the pin and rebounding into a greenside bunker, resulting in the first of three bogeys coming home for the two-time Race to Dubai Champion.

Morikawa’s exhibition of golf continued to delight the fans down the stretch, as the reigning Open Champion drained a lengthy birdie putt for a two at the 17th hole, before coming within inches of a closing eagle at the famous 18th hole on the Fire Course.

A tap-in birdie, however, was enough for a six under round of 66 and a 17 under total, bookending a week which began with his receiving Honorary Membership of the European Tour.

The 2020 DP World Tour Champion Matt Fitzpatrick had earlier in the day given himself a shot at a successful title defence, but he had to be content with a share of second spot alongside Swede Alexander Björk, with respective final rounds of 66 and 70 leaving them on a 14 under total.

Two of European golf’s brightest rising stars, Denmark’s Nicolai Højgaard and Robert MacIntyre of Scotland, shared fourth spot on 13 under par while McIlroy finished in a share of sixth alongside Englishman Ian Poulter and South Africa’s Dean Burmester.

Golf will enter a new era next week in South Africa when the newly-named DP World Tour tees off with the Joburg Open at Rankpark Golf Club.

Player Quotes

Collin Morikawa: “It feels so good. I would be lying to you if I said I wasn’t watching what Matt Fitzpatrick was doing today. Boy, did he put on a run. Props to him. Made a lot of birdies early on.

“But it’s 18 holes. All I needed to do was catch a spark. I feel great right now. Winning the DP World Tour Championship, coming here last year, my first time to Dubai, as really special.

“Starting off with six pars, especially with some birdie holes, wasn’t fun. I felt like I was hitting some good shots and I wasn’t getting the breaks I needed. The putts weren’t dropping and I just told myself, when I looked at the leaderboard after nine, that I was still in there and I was still two or three back at that point and I just needed one spark.

“After parring ten and 11, I told myself, you shouldn’t have done that; I knew something had to change. And 12, got a great break, thinning my second shot, made the putt, and that got the momentum started.

“I just kept telling myself to focus and I was excited for this moment. I was telling everyone, the nerves are there but I’m excited. I channelled that nervous energy into excitement and I wanted to keep hitting good shot after good shot and no matter where my ball is going to be, just going to find a way to somehow put it in the hole and putts started dropping, and that’s always fun.

“Look, the way my head is wired, I’m always looking for what’s next, but I’m going to try to enjoy this one. This one is special; it’s at the end of the year. I’ve got one more event left, but I’m going to try to enjoy this one as much as I can.”

Final Scores

271 C MORIKAWA (USA) 68 68 69 66,

274 M FITZPATRICK (ENG) 70 69 69 66, A BJ?RK (SWE) 68 67 69 70,

275 N H?JGAARD (DEN) 68 71 69 67, R MACINTYRE (SCO) 68 69 67 71,

276 I POULTER (ENG) 73 69 67 67, D BURMESTER (RSA) 69 69 69 69, R MCILROY (NIR) 65 70 67 74,

277 A ARNAUS (ESP) 75 68 68 66, P CASEY (ENG) 70 69 70 68, S LOWRY (IRL) 69 65 71 72, J CATLIN (USA) 69 65 71 72, J HANSEN (DEN) 67 70 68 72, S HORSFIELD (ENG) 68 66 69 74,

278 T PIETERS (BEL) 73 66 70 69,

279 G FORREST (SCO) 70 70 72 67, S GARCIA (ESP) 68 69 74 68, M LEE (AUS) 72 69 69 69, T HATTON (ENG) 70 73 66 70, M ARMITAGE (ENG) 68 72 67 72,

280 G HIGGO (RSA) 73 69 71 67, T DETRY (BEL) 69 70 72 69, L HERBERT (AUS) 72 69 70 69, J SCRIVENER (AUS) 71 69 70 70, J WINTHER (DEN) 70 69 69 72, J VEERMAN (USA) 68 72 67 73,

281 L CANTER (ENG) 74 71 68 68, A ANCER (MEX) 72 69 70 70, J LAGERGREN (SWE) 70 71 70 70, T FLEETWOOD (ENG) 70 72 69 70, R H?JGAARD (DEN) 70 69 69 73,

282 A MERONK (POL) 68 74 74 66, B HORSCHEL (USA) 74 70 69 69, C BEZUIDENHOUT (RSA) 67 75 70 70, P REED (USA) 72 72 68 70, M KAYMER (GER) 68 68 70 76,

283 G MIGLIOZZI (ITA) 73 73 70 67, W ZALATORIS (USA) 70 73 70 70,

284 S CROCKER (USA) 69 73 72 70, D WILLETT (ENG) 75 71 67 71, J DONALDSON (WAL) 70 68 74 72, A ROZNER (FRA) 74 70 68 72, R CABRERA BELLO (ESP) 70 70 71 73,

285 M KIEFFER (GER) 70 70 73 72,

286 R BLAND (ENG) 73 69 71 73,

287 F LAPORTA (ITA) 71 74 72 70, V PEREZ (FRA) 74 69 69 75,

288 M KAWAMURA (JPN) 74 73 68 73,

290 B WIESBERGER (AUT) 76 76 75 63,

291 J HARDING (RSA) 71 72 71 77,

292 J MORRISON (ENG) 71 74 73 74,

293 T PULKKANEN (FIN) 67 74 76 76,

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