Danny Willett wins DP World Tour Championship

The Englishman finished one clear of Matt Wallace and Patrick Reed

Danny Willett wins DP World Tour Championship
Danny Willett wins DP World Tour Championship
(Image credit: Getty Images)

England’s Danny Willett returned to winning ways with victory in the DP World Tour Championship, Dubai as Francesco Molinari was crowned Race to Dubai champion.

Danny Willett wins DP World Tour Championship

Danny Willett carded a closing 68 to finish on 18-under-par and win the DP World Tour Championship, Dubai by two strokes from Matt Wallace and Patrick Reed. It was Willett’s first win since the 2016 Masters.

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In a closely fought final round, Willett edged in front with three birdies in his last five holes. The decisive blow came at the par-3 17th where Willett fired in a brilliant tee shot to within six feet of the cup. Patrick Reed was unable to get up-and-down on the same hole before Willett rolled his birdie putt home to take a three-shot lead to the final hole.

There was a brief scare for the Englishman when his tee shot on the last nearly found the water, but it stopped just short and, despite being in the hazard, he was able to advance his ball, get onto the par-5 in three shots and secure the victory.

Danny Willett

Danny Willett

“It's been a lot of hard work,” said an emotional Willett. “It's been tough. I'm just massively proud of myself and everyone that's been around me. You never quite know when a win is around the corner and with all the things that have happened, I was never quite sure if it was going to happen again. To happen here at the end of year, we've battled long and hard through this season to come out at the end, regardless of what happened today, a better person and a better athlete. It's a special place.”

Francesco Molinari finished on six-under-par for the week and, with defending Race to Dubai champion Tommy Fleetwood failing to get the victory this week, the Italian was crowned Race to Dubai champion.

“It’s incredible, it’s more than I ever dreamed of achieving,” he said. “I think I’ve seen players who are better than me not winning Majors or the Order of Merit so for me to do it, just seems unreal. Now I have some time to relax and recover but to be honest I don’t know how to tackle next season, it’s going to be impossible to repeat this year.”

Patrick Reed birdied the final hole to climb into a tie for second place with Matt Wallace and that was enough for the American to go ahead of Tommy Fleetwood and finish second in the Race to Dubai standings.

Matt Wallace climbed into 10th place on the standings with his tied second finish in Dubai. That earned him the last bonus pool spot.

Despite a disappointing final round of 80, India’s Shubhankar Sharma was crowned Rookie of the Year for 2018.

“It’s been a great year and I feel very lucky,” he said. “I still have a lot to learn though and next year I just have to keep building on what I have achieved.

DP World Tour Championship, Dubai Jumeirah Golf Estates, Dubai, UAE 15-18 November Purse: $8,000,000 Par: 72

1 Danny Willett (Eng) 67 67 68 68 270 T2 Matt Wallace (Eng) 68 65 71 68 272 T2 Patrick Reed (USA) 69 66 67 70 272 T4 Jon Rahm (Esp) 67 70 69 68 274 T4 Adrian Otaegui (Esp) 66 68 71 69 274 T4 Dean Burmester (RSA) 71 65 68 70 274 T7 Dylan Frittelli (RSA) 70 73 66 66 275 T7 Tom Lewis (Eng) 69 69 67 70 275 T9 Kiradech Aphibarnrat (Tha) 70 66 71 69 276 T9 Alex Noren (Swe) 69 71 67 69 276 T9 Sergio Garcia (Esp) 71 68 67 70 276

Fergus Bisset
Contributing Editor

Fergus is Golf Monthly's resident expert on the history of the game and has written extensively on that subject. He is a golf obsessive and 1-handicapper. Growing up in the North East of Scotland, golf runs through his veins and his passion for the sport was bolstered during his time at St Andrews university studying history. He went on to earn a post graduate diploma from the London School of Journalism. Fergus has worked for Golf Monthly since 2004 and has written two books on the game; "Great Golf Debates" together with Jezz Ellwood of Golf Monthly and the history section of "The Ultimate Golf Book" together with Neil Tappin , also of Golf Monthly. 

Fergus once shanked a ball from just over Granny Clark's Wynd on the 18th of the Old Course that struck the St Andrews Golf Club and rebounded into the Valley of Sin, from where he saved par. Who says there's no golfing god?