Westwood wins Race to Dubai as Fitzpatrick lands DP World Tour Championship

Westwood wins Race to Dubai as Fitzpatrick lands DP World Tour Championship”

He does so at the age of 47, becoming the oldest man ever to achieve the feat.

And it still means as much to him today as it did when he won for the first time 20 years ago. And, soon, he'd be hoisting the giant Harry Vardon Trophy high, despite having a sore back that almost forced him to withdraw at the start of the week. "Now I've had to lift that massive trophy and strained it again".

Lee Westwood won the Harry Vardon Trophy for a third time - having also claimed the Race to Dubai in 2009 - denying Matt Fitzpatrick by just 18 points.

But the Sheffield ace - who turned pro after becoming the first English victor of the US Amateur in 102 years in 2013 - finished just 18 points short of his Newcastle-based rival's total in the Race to Dubai.

Westwood needed a collapse from some of his rivals over the final holes on the Earth Course, and that's what transpired.

But bogeys on the 16th and 17th saw him finish in a tie for third at 13-under par - just one shot away from being the first American to take Europe's season-long honours. Still, chipping in from the fringe at No. 18, Reed shot 70 and finish tied for third with Viktor Hovland (69), ultimately two shots behind Fitzpatrick.

Reed dropped a shot on the second to slip back and it was the final group of Canter and Fitzpatrick who took centre stage.

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He pulled his tee shot into the rough, chipped back onto the fairway, and found the centre of the green with his approach.

Then Laurie Canter double-bogeyed No. 17 and could only par the last, leaving Westwood alone in second.

"You can play poorly and win and sometimes you can play unbelievable and lose", said Fitzpatrick whose first major win as an amateur came at the Selborne Salver, at Blackmoor GC, in 2012.

"It's been 20 years since I sat there at Valderrama and finished second in the American Express Championship to win the Volvo Order of Merit as it was back then", Westwood said.

A former top-ranked player, Westwood is renowned for being one of the greatest golfers never to win a major but there's no doubting his status as an elder stateman on the European Tour.

He will now turn his attention to making Padraig Harrington's Ryder Cup team to face the US at Whistling Straits next year.

"I'm trying not to really think about that", Reed said. First thing in the morning and after I had played, and I'm very appreciative of the job they have done on my back this week, said Westwood, who carded a 68 in the final round for a 14-under 274. It's where I'm most comfortable and what I love doing. "I've played 10 Ryder Cups, at certain times, you have to move into different chapters of your life". It's nice to watch these young kids play, they tear it up out there. I can still turn up to the biggest tournaments and compete as I proved at the start of the year in Abu Dhabi, and at the US Open, where I bogeyed the last two holes, and if I hadn't, I'd have finished fifth, and here. I guess 2000, sort of I was winning a lot, but I was still up and coming. "I turned up obviously 16th, so the Race to Dubai didn't really enter my head, if I'm honest". Once play resumed, 27 events were held back-to-back, with players having to live and perform in bio-secure bubbles.

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