Collin Morikawa closes with 66, makes history on European Tour at DP World Tour Championship

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Collin Morikawa made history Sunday, becoming the first American to win both the DP World Tour Championship and the Race to Dubai title after his victory in the European Tour’s season-ending tournament in Dubai.

Morikawa started the final day three shots back of Rory McIlroy and then started Sunday’s round with six straight pars. Morikawa got his first birdie on the day on No. 7.

Then on the back nine, he caught fire, making birdies on five of his last seven holes, including 17 and 18, to close with a 66 to claim a three-shot win over Matthew Fitzpatrick and Alexander Bjork.

“It’s special, it’s an honor, really, to be the first American to do that on the European Tour, to put my name against many, many great Hall of Famers, it’s special,” he said.

Morikawa’s irons were sharp once again. On the 15th hole, he stuffed his approach to eight feet. On the 16th, out of a fairway bunker, he landed his ball 20 feet away to save par. He stuck one within 10 feet on the 17th.

“Two years ago, it wasn’t my thought. It was, ‘yeah, let’s go play around the world’ but we didn’t know what the cards were going to be dealt,” he said. “To have this chance and finally close it out, and not just closing it out with a top 10 or something, but to actually win the DP World Tour Championship, which concluded with the Race to Dubai, not a better way to finish.”

Billy Horschel finished second in the Race, while Jon Rahm, who skipped the season-finale, was third.

Before the tournament started, Morikawa was granted Honorary Life Membership on the tour, just the fifth American golfer—joining Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Tom Watson and Patrick Reed—to receive that recognition.

McIlroy, meanwhile, shot a 2-over 74 and in an odd scene after the tournament, could be seen in the clubhouse looking at his phone with his shirt apparently ripped open.

This event puts a close on the European Tour’s season, and there will be no break before the start of the new season, as the Joburg Open in South Africa starts on Thursday. And with the new season comes a new name for the tour. Heading into its 50th year of existence, it will be known as the DP World Tour.

As a result of the title sponsorship, total prize money will exceed the $200 million mark for the first time. Also for the first time, the tour will feature three tournaments co-sanctioned with the PGA Tour – the Genesis Scottish Open, as well as the Barbasol Championship and the Barracuda Championship taking place in the United States – as a result of the “Strategic Alliance” between male professional golf’s two leading Tours.

Adam Schupak contributed to this article.