Westwood cruises to big win in Dubai|
Dubai, United Arab Emirates (Sports Network) - Leading by two entering the
final round Sunday, Lee Westwood birdied five of his first seven holes and
cruised home with a six-stroke win at the Dubai World Championship.
Westwood closed with a course-record, eight-under 64 Sunday to finish at 23-
under-par 265 for his 20th European Tour title and a first-place check of
The victory also gave Westwood a $1.5 million bonus as the winner of the
season-long Race to Dubai, and he claimed the European Tour's money title for
the second time.
"I played fantastic on the weekend. I played great the first two days to get
into position, but then 66-64 on the weekend was going to take some catching I
think," said Westwood. "That was about as good as I have ever played under
this kind of pressure.
"With so much riding on it, it is nice to pull it off."
Ross McGowan birdied five in a row on the back nine to get within four, but
bogeyed the final two holes to post four-under 68. He finished solo second at
Rory McIlroy, who led the Race to Dubai entering this week, rallied on the
back nine Sunday for a five-under 67 and took third at minus-15.
Westwood had a near-perfect final round. He hit all 14 fairways and all 18
greens in regulation during his bogey-free round.
The 36-year-old Englishman parred the first, then pitched his third to three
feet at the par-five second. After sinking that birdie putt, Westwood made it
two in a row with a long birdie effort on the third.
Westwood sank a 10-footer for birdie on five and came right back with a birdie
on the sixth. He two-putted for birdie on the par-five seventh to briefly push
his lead to seven strokes.
McGowan, playing alongside Westwood, also birdied the seventh on the Earth
Course at Jumeirah Golf Estates to cut the deficit to six.
Around the turn, Westwood rolled in a six-foot birdie effort on the 10th to
move seven clear of McGowan. Westwood also birdied 13 and 15 to climb to 23-
under. He two-putted for par on the final three holes to seal the victory.
"I went through a faze where I didn't want to play," said Westwood, who
dropped outside the top 200 in world after winning his first Order of Merit
title in 2000. "Very much so, this means a lot. This is definitely the biggest
moment of my golfing career."
McGowan bogeyed the first, but atoned for that error with a birdie on the
second. He turned in 14-under thanks to a birdie on the seventh and caught
fire on the back nine with five consecutive birdies from the 12th.
That run got him within four of Westwood, but he couldn't save par from a
bunker on 17, then bogeyed the last to end six back.
"I would have taken that at the start of the week," said McGowan of his
second-place finish. "Top-15 in the Order of Merit gets me into a few majors
and I move up in the world rankings."
McIlroy got off to a slow start with eight straight pars. He poured in five
birdies over a six-hole span from the ninth to jump to 15-under. After a
birdie on 17, McIlroy closed with a bogey on the last.
Former major champions Geoff Ogilvy (67) and Padraig Harrington (68) shared
fourth place at 14-under-par 274. Alexander Noren was one stroke further back
at minus-13 after a final-round 69. Sergio Garcia (69) and Adam Scott (68)
ended in a tie for seventh at 12-under-par 276.
11/22 08:25:41 ET