Lee Westwood wins Dubai World Championship

Lee Westwood produced a flawless course record round of 64 to win the first Dubai World Championship and claim first prize in the inaugural Race to Dubai.

Lee Westwood

Lee Westwood produced a flawless course record round of 64 to win the first Dubai World Championship and claim first prize in the inaugural Race to Dubai.

Leading by two shots going into the last day, Westwood played a near perfect final round to finish on a four-round total of 23-under-par, six ahead of his nearest challenger Ross McGowan.

The first place cheque for €830,675 pushed Westwood ahead of Rory McIlroy at the top of the Race to Dubai standings winning him the top bonus pool prize of $1,500,000. He becomes the 18th player to have won the Harry Vardon Trophy (presented to the leading player on the European Tour) on two occasions. He also led the money list in 2000. It's Westwood's 32nd victory as a professional and it lifts him to a career-high of fourth on the Official World Golf Ranking.

"I played great all week," he said. "A 66 and 64 over the weekend will take some beating I think. It means so much to me, without doubt this is the highest point. Hopefully there will be more, maybe a Major in the future. Some of the young players coming through, like Rory McIlroy, put me under a lot of pressure so it will be tough."

McIlroy ended the week in third spot and finished in second place in the Race to Dubai. The young Northern Irishman held onto Westwood's coat tails until he finished with three straight bogeys in round three. That gave Westwood a five shot advantage going into the final round and the Englishman never looked threatened as he compiled a fabulous, bogey-free, round.

"I have no complaints. I gave it my best shot and it's been a great season, but Lee is just in a different class," said a philosophical McIlroy. "Even if I'd played well I'm not sure I could have got to 23 under."

Ross McGowan was Westwood's closest challenger in this tournament. He made five straight birdies from the 12th en-route to a closing 68. Finishing in second place, McGowan climbed to 12th spot in the Race to Dubai guaranteeing him a start in the four Majors in 2010.

Dubai World Championship Earth Course, Jumeirah Golf Estates, Dubai Nov 19-22, purse $5,000,000, par 72

1    Lee Westwood (Eng)    66    69    66    64    265    €830,675 2    Ross McGowan (Eng)    71    66    66    68    271    €553,781 3    Rory McIlroy (NIR)    68    69    69    67    273    €323,963 T4    Padraig Harrington (Ire) 68    69    69    68    274    €224,282 T4    Geoff Ogilvy (Aus)        70    69    68    67    274    €224,282 6    Alexander Noren (Swe)    70    69    67    69    275    €162,094 T7    Sergio Garcia (Esp)    71    67    69    69    276    €139,553 T7    Adam Scott (Aus)        68    73    67    68    276    €139,553 T9    Peter Hanson (Swe)    72    71    66    69    278    €114,633 T9    Miguel Angel Jimenez (Esp) 72 68    69    69    278    €114,633 T9    Ian Poulter (Eng)        71    74    68    65    278    €114,633

Note: Player scores in bold signifies Titleist ball usage only

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?