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Tommy Fleetwood beats Justin Rose to Race to Dubai crown

Tommy Fleetwood beats Justin Rose to Race to Dubai crown

-19 J Rahm (Spa); -18 K Aphibarnrat (Tha), S Lowry (Ire); -17 S Garcia (Spa), J Rose (Eng), D Burmester (SA), D Frittelli (SA); -16 T Hatton (Eng), J Suri (US) 

Tommy Fleetwood beat fellow Englishman Justin Rose to the Race to Dubai title as Spain's Jon Rahm won the season finale Tour Championship in Dubai.

Rose, 37, needed an eagle on the 18th to overtake Fleetwood in the standings but could only make a birdie to card a 70 and finish 17 under in tied fourth.

Fleetwood, 26, shot a modest closing 74 to end on 11 under but his tie for 21st was enough to clinch the money list.

Rahm's 67 saw him win by one from Shane Lowry and Kiradech Aphibarnrat.

Rose, who was aiming for a third successive victory after back-to-back wins in China and Turkey, had a one-shot lead overnight and led for much of the final day before dropping shots on the 12th, 14th and 16th.

The Olympic champion was then in a bunker on the 17th but splashed out to within inches of the hole and rescued a par that kept alive his chances of a second order of merit triumph. 

He then gave himself a long look at an eagle on the last but couldn't hole the monster putt that would have given him the money list title.

Fleetwood, who started promisingly with a birdie on the first but then made five bogeys in his two-over round, admitted his mind strayed to what rival Rose was doing two groups behind on the Earth course at Jumeirah Golf Estates.
'The best year of my life by a mile'

The Southport player said: "It wasn't pretty today, I didn't play how I'd like to and it just showed how tough golf is. From 11 and 12 onwards it was difficult not to think about what Justin was doing.

"He played amazing for three-and-half days and that back nine showed golf can be a tough and unfair game, but I'll say it for a while that Race To Dubai champion is very, very cool.

"It's been a big year, baby Frankie arriving safely and he's great, I'm going to get married in a couple of weeks. It has been the best year of my life by an absolute mile.

"On the course has been great, I've played some of the best golf of my career and done things that I've never done before. Off the course I'm just such a happy person so we'll have to think of ways to better this one."

Going into the tournament, Sergio Garcia was the only other player who could have taken the Race to Dubai title - he needed to win the Tour Championship with Fleetwood finishing outside the top 20 and Rose outside the top four.

He ended with a fine 65 including eight birdies that saw him finish on 17 under in a tie for fourth alongside Rose, plus South Africans Dean Burmester and Dylan Frittelli.

Ireland's Lowry finished with a brilliant 63 that featured 10 birdies and a bogey in what was his lowest round since 2011, as he tied for second with Thailand's Aphibarnrat, who shot a 67. 

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