Dubai World Championship: Luke Donald seals US & Europe double

Luke Donald
Donald did not drop a shot in the tournament after the eighth hole in round two

England's Luke Donald became the first man to win the US and European money lists in one year after finishing third at the Dubai World Championship.

The world number one needed a top-nine finish to complete the feat and shot a bogey-free 66 for a 16 under total.

Rory McIlroy, who had to win the Dubai event for a chance of the money list, closed with a 71, 10 shots adrift.

Spaniard Alvaro Quiros, the overnight leader, won the title by two shots after a 67 left him at 19 under.

After accumulating £4.19m in winning the US money list, Donald finished with earnings of £3,632,685 from the European Tour.

He will complete his season at the Australian Masters starting on Thursday but in 26 tournaments so far this season the 34-year-old has missed only two cuts, one of which came at the Open Championship at Sandwich in July, with a remarkable 20 top-10 finishes.

He won four tournaments, including the World Golf Championship Match Play event and the European Tour's flagship event, the PGA Championship at Wentworth, which also saw him crowned world number one.

"There's a lot still to achieve," Donald said, after being presented with the lavish Race to Dubai trophy. "The beauty of this game is that you are always looking for ways to improve."

Donald's best finish to date in golf's big four annual events is joint third in the Masters and PGA Championship.

He added: "I'd love to pick up a major. It's fun being number one but I know there are lots of great players chasing me and that will keep me motivated to work hard."

It was a typically assured performance from Donald, who did not drop a shot over the final 46 holes of the tournament.

He began the final day four behind overnight leader Quiros and made the perfect start with a measured approach that trickled to within nine feet of the flag at the first hole and a calm birdie putt.

After a successful up and down from the sand at the fourth he recorded another birdie at the fifth when another fine approach finished within five feet of the pin.

Donald missed several birdie opportunities but finished in style by picking up shots at each of the closing three holes.

At the treacherous par-three 17th over water he pitched to within five feet for a two then at the par five last his wedge shot from the fairway finished two feet from the cup.

"I was still nervous this morning," he said. "It was important to get off to a good start and I did."

"I had so many mixed emotions. This is something I didn't think was possible, but it became a possibility midway through the season.

"It's driven me to work hard and be as successful as I've been. Rory made it tough, but for it actually to happen is almost a weight off my shoulders.

"History is why we play the game and I'm very proud of it. I got what I came for."

McIlroy holed a 20-foot putt at the 10th for his second birdie of the day to reach 10 under but his anger was evident when he missed a par putt from six feet at the next.

The US Open champion parred his way in to a round of 71 and second place in the Race to Dubai standings.

"I can't wait to have a few weeks off," said the 22-year-old, who has been troubled by a possible case of Dengue fever and has withdrawn from next week's Thailand Golf Championship, the last event of the season on the Asian Tour.

"The doctor told me that no matter how bad I'm feeling now I'd be even worse if I played next week."

Quiros had lost his two-shot advantage by the turn after veteran Scotsman Paul Lawrie picked up five shots in his first eight holes.

However, the long-hitting 28-year-old secured his fifth European title when he eagled the last for the second time in the tournament.

Meanwhile the European Tour announced that a new three-year agreement had been signed for the Dubai tournament to continue as the finale to the season.

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