Englishman Matthew Fitzpatrick put a disappointing Ryder Cup display behind him, with the 22-year-old holding his nerve to win the season ending DP World Tour Championship in Dubai by just a single shot. Despite being among the outsiders for victory in the golf betting odds among the bookmakers, Fitzpatrick calmly made birdie on the 18th hole to secure victory, finishing the tournament on 17 under par. It was only Fitzpatrick’s third European Tour title, outscoring compatriot Tyrrell Hatton by just one shot in the process.
Hatton had led by one shot going into the closing stages, however a bogey at the last gave Fitzpatrick a chance for victory, with the English duo completing the first two positions on the leader board. South African Charl Schwartzel finished in third position in the DP World Tour Championship, Dubai another two strokes back, while Sweden’s Henrik Stenson posted a remarkable 65 on the final day to win his second Race to Dubai title. Four-time major winner Rory McIlroy also carded 65 on the Sunday, finishing on 12 under. With players now earning a well-deserved break, attention among pundits has already turned to the first major tournament of 2017, the US Masters at Augusta. Despite the tournament still being months away, bookmakers Coral have already installed Jordan Spieth as the joint favourite in the golf betting odds, alongside rivals Jason Day and McIlroy.
It was a topsy-turvy final day in Dubai, with Fitzpatrick having dropped into a tie for the lead early on a Hatton Hatton notched back-to-back birdies at the fifth and sixth to join him on 14 under. However, the youngster quickly regained the lead with a birdie at seven, before narrowly missing out on repeating the trick at the very next hole. Hatton once again tied level with his compatriot thanks to a birdie at nine, and when Fitzpatrick dropped a shot at the same hole, the 25-year-old was out in front by himself. With Hatton now the favourite in the golf betting odds with Coral, the duo kept everyone guessing with some mixed play over the back nine.
However, with Hatton sending his tee shot into the water on the 18th, eventually making his first bogey of the day to fall back to 16 under, Fitzpatrick took full advantage of his error. Despite finding a greenside bunker on the last, the Englishman fearlessly hold his four-foot birdie putt for victory, helping him to a sixth-place finish in the Race to Dubai rankings.