Quiros wins Dubai battle Donald the war

BY Bruce Young | European PGA Tour | 2011 Dubai World Championship | Wrap | 11 Dec 2011

Alvaro Qurios has won the Dubai World Championship in dramatic fashion by holing a 55 foot putt at the final hole of the Earth Course at Jumeirah Estates in Dubai to defeat Paul Lawrie by two shots and Luke Donald by three.

Quiros took control of the tournament when he posted a second round of 64 and led into the weekend by four shots. Lawrie closed the gap to just two as the pair began the final round and actually took the lead off Quiros when the Spaniard bogeyed the 9th. Lawrie though would bogey three holes later and when Quiros birdied the par five 14th he had regained his grip on the Championship.

Playing the final hole Quiros led by one over both Lawrie and Donald, Donald having birdied his final three holes to ensure that the final pair on the golf course would need to finish the event off well to hold the world number one at bay.

Lawrie was forced to lay up after finding the rough at the last. While many might have felt Quiros would do the same given his one shot lead and the massive amount of money any mistake at the final hole would cost, a conservative approach does not appear to be part of the 28 year old’s DNA.

Qurios took on the 260 yard shot over water and found the front right of the green. Lawrie needed something special himself -and a little help from his playing partner. He managed to produce the first half of that equation but any suggestion of a three putt by the eventual winner was soon putt to bed when Quiros holed his demanding putt for eagle and the title was his.

Lawrie then followed him in from 14 feet for birdie to break clear of Donald and secure the second position on his own. The putt was worth 127,000 to Lawrie, the difference between being tied for second with Donald and that position outright.

Peter Hanson worked his way into a potentially challenging position before a double bogey at the 71st hole cost him any winning hopes and he finished alone in 4th position.

Given the quality of the field and that the world’s leading four golfers teed it up then the victory by Quiros should take him close to the top twenty in the world ranking from his current 52nd position. He has won both events in Dubai this season and his cavalier approach continues to build a massive fan base for the European Tour’s longest hitter.

Donald might have lost the battle this week but he won the war in 2011. He might not yet have a major championship in his trophy cabinet but he leaves for Australia at the completion of the European season as the winner of the PGA Tour and European Tour money list titles and with the mantle of world number one firmly in his grasp.

Donald has earned €5,323,400 this season in Europe, more than €1.3 million ahead of the second placed McIlory.

To think that he has been able to finish off the season as well as he has given the arrival of his second child and that his father passed away amongst it all speaks volumes for the class and professionalism of the 34 year old.

Donald plays this week’s J.B. Were Masters at the Victoria Golf Club in Melbourne and given his extraordinary deeds in 2011 deserves every bit of the massive appearance money he is no doubt being paid for making what is likely a trip he could do without at present.

Given the quality individual he is then it is hard to imagine he will give nothing but his best this week.

A thought for McIlory who had been very much part of the pre tournament build-up. McIlory believes he picked up Dengue Fever in China recently and has decided to withdraw from next week’s Thailand Open. McIlory struggled with the illness all week but even before today’s final round he paid special tribute to the only man who finished ahead of him on both the money list and the world ranking.

“I’ve always said a lot this year, I don’t think Luke has been given enough credit for how good of golf he’s played. He’s been incredible and he’s been up there every week.

“People outside of golf just look at wins and they think that wins are the be‑all and end‑all. But the amount of top 5s and Top‑10s he’s finished, that he’s posted are just as impressive as some of the wins, because to do it week‑in and week‑out, you need incredible mental strength to keep going and you have to be unbelievably consistent and not have many bad rounds. That’s something that he’s obviously very good at.

“So you know, I think Luke from within the golfing family, I think what he’s done this year, he’ll receive a lot of applause for that, but unfortunately maybe people outside the golfing world look‑‑ even though he’s won four times, there will always be that question, you know, is he the real No. 1 because he’s not got a major.”

To cap off a stunning season for European golf, Dubai has announced that it will continue to host the end of season event for another three years with prizemoney for next year’s event raised to US$8 million.

The event will be known as the DP World Tour Championship Dubai.

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    About the Author: Bruce Young

    A multi-award winning golf journalist, Bruce's extensive knowledge of the game comes from several years caddying the tournament circuits of the world, marketing a successful golf course design company and as one of Australia's leading golf journalists and commentators.


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