Tommy Fleetwood expressed his pride after just missing out on a dream finish to the season and declared it was "Jon's time" after Jon Rahm pulled off a lucrative Dubai double.

Fleetwood made a blistering finish at the DP World Tour Championship on Sunday, birdying five of the last seven holes to sign for a seven-under 65 and join Rahm at the top of the leaderboard.

Both players knew a victory at Jumeirah Golf Estates would also be enough to win the Race to Dubai and it was Rahm who achieved that feat, sinking a short birdie putt at the last to card a 68 and finish 19 under.

Fleetwood claimed his first title for 20 months at the Nedbank Golf Challenge seven days earlier and he was left with mixed emotions, but took the positives out of a strong end to 2019.

"Of course there's always going to be a little bit of disappointment there, but for the most part I wasn't in it, I got myself back in it and I am very proud of the way I played on that back nine," said the Englishman.

"Jon's time, Jon's moment. He's played unbelievable this year and fair play, great birdie down the last and I'm just happy with my week."

Fleetwood is looking forward to recharging his batteries before continuing where he left off at the start of next year.

He added: "I'm looking forward to a break first. I'm looking forward to waking up tomorrow with nothing to do. Kids can go to school, Clare [Fleetwood's wife and manager] can do a bit of work and I can do nothing.

"That's going to be really nice and then get back at it when I do get the clubs out again, but for now I'm just ready for a break.

"These last two weeks have definitely painted the season in a brand new light and I have a lot more satisfaction than before. I'll have a break and get ready to crack on next year."

Jon Rahm was crowned this year's Race to Dubai winner after a birdie at the 18th hole secured the DP World Tour Championship for a second time in his career.

The Spaniard had held a six-shot lead at one stage during the final round, only for playing partner Mike Lorenzo-Vera and a fast-finishing Tommy Fleetwood to close the gap and set up a tense finish.

Fleetwood carded five birdies over the final seven holes to set the clubhouse lead at 18 under par, leaving him to sit and watch on as his 2018 Ryder Cup team-mate finished his round.

Rahm found a bunker with his approach shot to the par-five 18th but held his nerve to get over the line, chipping onto the green before rolling in a putt that not only clinched the tournament but also confirmed he will end the season as the European Tour's number one.

"I feel like I'm going to start crying," an emotional Rahm - who also triumphed at the Jumeirah Golf Estates in 2017 - told Sky Sports. "Man, it was such an up-and-down day.

"[On the] eighth tee I had a six-shot lead and I came down 18 needing a birdie to win. It was hard trying to battle out there, I kind of lost the swing a little bit."

He added: "Hard to believe that besides the putt, the first three shots on 18 is about as calm as I've been all day.

"I told myself on 18, 'How many times do you dream of having to birdie the last hole to win a tournament?'. I hit the best drive of the week, a great four iron the wind didn't take, an outstanding bunker shot and then made the putt."

Rahm's eventful score of 68 mixed eight birdies with four bogeys. He had started the week sitting third in the Race to Dubai standings, but a fourth title on the Rolex Series made sure he will finish 2019 on top.

In doing so, the 25-year-old becomes only the second Spaniard to win the European Tour's order of merit, following in the footsteps of the legendary Seve Ballesteros.

As for Fleetwood, his seven-under 65 was enough to finish alone in second place, with three putts on the final green forcing Lorenzo-Vera to settle for third.

Having led the way in the Race to Dubai going into the final event, Austrian Bernd Wiesberger slipped down the final standings after taking a share of 28th place.

Jon Rahm has goosebumps over the thought of emulating the great Seve Ballesteros and becoming Race to Dubai champion.

A six-under-par 66 on Saturday left Rahm in a tie for first alongside Mike Lorenzo-Vera at the DP World Tour Championship after three rounds and in pole position to win the season-long battle for the European Tour's best player.

Ballesteros is the only other Spaniard to have achieved the honour, doing so six times between 1976 and 1991 when it was known as the Order of Merit.

It is an honour that has eluded such Spanish talents as Sergio Garcia, Jose Maria Olazabal and Miguel Angel Jimenez, and Rahm is determined to grasp his opportunity.

"It gives me goosebumps to think about that," he said in quotes reported by the European Tour.

"I've said it many times, as a Spaniard, any time you join or you have the chance to put your name on a list where there's only one name and that name is Seve, it's pretty impactful. 

"It's really emotional for all of us. To think not even Sergio or Miguel Angel or Olly or many other great players couldn't get it done. 

"It's hard to believe that I have the chance to be the second. I'm just going to try to enjoy the afternoon. There's still 18 more holes to play."

Rory McIlroy looms as an ominous presence just two shots off the pace, with Tommy Fleetwood – Rahm's rival in the Race to Dubai – four shots off the lead.

McIlroy, a three-time Race to Dubai victor, recovered from a disappointing 74 on Friday to shoot himself back into contention for the World Tour Championship trophy with a 65.

"You've got Tommy and Jon up there obviously and Mike's holding steady at the top. He played wonderfully yesterday. I played with him and seems like he's doing a similar thing today," McIlroy said. 

"I'm going to have to go out there and shoot a similar score tomorrow to do what I did today to really have a chance. But I'm just really pleased that I got myself back in the golf tournament."

Jon Rahm holds a share of the lead at the DP World Tour Championship and is on course to win the Race to Dubai title after a magnificent third round.

Rahm started moving day in joint-second place with Tommy Fleetwood - also battling to be crowned European number one - and will begin his final round level with Mike Lorenzo-Vera on 15 under.

The Spaniard matched his six-under opening round of 66 to catch Lorenzo-Vera at Jumeirah Golf Estates, where the leading duo hold a two-shot advantage over Rory McIlroy.

Fleetwood just about had the edge in the tussle for the Race to Dubai title at the halfway mark in the final tournament of the season, but it is advantage Rahm after the Englishman signed for a two-under 70.

World number five Rahm, four shots ahead of Fleetwood, will win the Race to Dubai if he repeats his 2017 triumph at the Earth Course and Bernd Wiesberger finishes lower than solo second.

Wiesberger began the week as the man to catch, but is down in a share of 24th place with his chances looking slim.

Second place will also be good enough for Rahm to overhaul Wiesberger if the Austrian finishes worse than solo 21st and none of Fleetwood, Shane Lowry or Matt Fitzpatrick win the title on Sunday.

Rahm birdied the first two holes and hit the turn in 34 after his only bogey of the day at the eighth, then picked up another four shots on the back nine to draw level with Lorenzo-Vera.

Lorenzo-Vera said he was wary of "big dogs" biting him after ending his second round with a three-shot lead and a solitary bogey at the 18th meant he had to settle for a second successive 69.

Fleetwood could only muster three birdies to leave himself with work to do, while McIlroy enhanced his chances of winning the tournament for a third time by shooting a brilliant seven-under 65 - including an eagle-three at the seventh.

Fitzpatrick is nine shots off the lead, with Lowry a further stroke back.

Mike Lorenzo-Vera is wary of being bitten by the "big dogs" chasing him as the battle for the Race to Dubai title hots up at the DP World Tour Championship.

Lorenzo-Vera holds a three-shot lead on 12 under at the halfway mark at Jumeirah Golf Estates after carding a three-under second round of 69 on Friday.

The Frenchman, who signed for a stunning 63 on day one in Dubai, led by seven strokes on the back nine but bogeyed the last after also dropping a shot at 15.

Tommy Fleetwood and Jon Rahm are in a share of second place in what promises to be a dramatic tussle to be crowned European number one on Sunday, with the Englishman in pole position for that honour as it stands.

Bernd Wiesberger, Race to Dubai leader heading into the season-ending tournament, has work to do at three under, while Shane Lowry and Matt Fitzpatrick are also in contention.

Rory McIlroy is six shots adrift of leader Lorenzo-Vera, who is braced for a tense weekend as he eyes a maiden European Tour triumph.

The world number 96 said: "Tactically I know what I have to do, and I know that the winds are going to be different this weekend.

"I'm not going to push more than what I'm doing now. I'm trying to trust my putter 100 per cent and that's what I can do.

"I've got a three-shot lead and it's better than three shots behind. It's just going to be stressful because it's big dogs behind me that are going to try to bite me, so it's going to be interesting."

Fleetwood, winner of the Nedbank Golf Challenge last weekend, knows he must not suffer a lapse in concentration with so much at stake.

"It's just a classic case of trying to stay in the moment and take each shot as it comes," he said. "There's a lot going on over the weekend; there's a lot of different scenarios and players in the mix.

"There's a lot of things going on around you so the more internally focused you can be and the more you can just stay in your bubble, it will just be a great challenge going into the weekend trying to do that."

Mike Lorenzo-Vera holds a three-shot lead in the DP World Tour Championship, while Tommy Fleetwood and Jon Rahm boosted their chances of winning the Race to Dubai title on Friday.

Lorenzo-Vera started the day with a one-shot lead ahead of Rory McIlroy after signing for an opening 63 - the lowest first round in the history of the tournament.

The Frenchman led by a mammoth seven shots on the back nine at Jumeirah Golf Estates, but his advantage over Fleetwood and Rahm was reduced to three when he bogeyed the last hole.

Lorenzo-Vera, bidding to win a first European Tour title in what is the last event of the season, is 12 under after signing for a three-under 69 on the Earth Course.

The world number 96 started with back-to-back birdies and hit the turn in 33 after further gains at the seventh and eighth holes, but a second dropped shot of his round at 15 and another at 18 mean he is not sitting quite so pretty.

Fleetwood carded a four-under 68 and is course to be crowned European number one for a second time, a seventh birdie of the day at the final hole also enhancing his prospects of winning back-to-back titles.

The Englishman, who claimed the Nedbank Golf Challenge title last weekend, was seven adrift of Lorenzo-Vera when the leader chipped for a birdie at 14, but is well poised in a share of second place with Rahm.

Rahm sunk a putt from around 12 feet for an eagle-three at 18, recovering well on the back nine after a double-bogey at the eighth.

The Spaniard and Fleetwood both know they can be crowned Race to Dubai champion if they finish solo second, provided Bernd Wiesberger fails to shoot up the leaderboard.

Austrian Wiesberger started the season finale as the man to catch and will be guaranteed to fend off the rivals chasing him down if he finishes outright second, but is joint-13th following a 71.

Shane Lowry and Matt Fitzpatrick, the other two contenders to win the Race to Dubai, are in a share of 13th and 17th respectively.

McIlroy is six shots off the lead after a disappointing 74, while Tom Lewis sits five behind Lorenzo-Vera on seven under.

Rory McIlroy described his stunning approach to the 18th as "possibly the best shot I've hit all year" as he closed with an eagle to surge into contention on day one of the DP World Tour Championship, Dubai.

The four-time major winner, seeking a third title at Jumeirah Golf Estates, carded a 64 on Thursday to sit one stroke behind leader Mike Lorenzo-Vera at the season-ending European Tour event.

McIlroy pulled clear in second spot, two ahead of Race to Dubai contender Jon Rahm, with a three at the par-five last set up by a booming drive and pinpoint approach shot that landed within three feet of the pin.

"It's possibly the best shot I've hit all year," the world number two told Sky Sports. "It was one of those where if you get it right and you button it, it's going to be perfect.

"The two shots into the last were right up there with the two best shots I've hit this year, I would say.

"I'm feeling comfortable with my game. I have done for the last while. I felt like [this] was just more of the same of how I've been feeling.

"I hit some really quality shots coming in which gives me a lot of confidence going into the next few days."

McIlroy recently added an eye-catching finishing touch to his home, with the addition of a trophy cabinet that he would dearly love to contribute to this weekend.

His wife Erika had the cabinet put in place when McIlroy was busy securing further silverware at last month's WGC-HSBC Champions.

"It's sort of the last room that we've been waiting on to get finished in the house," the Northern Irishman explained. "I like to have [the trophies] out so, in a reflective moment, I can go and have a look at all I've achieved on the golf course the last few years.

"I had not seen them - they were in storage for a year and a half - so just to come back to it was really nice.

"It's a nice reflective moment, but it's also a motivational moment that this is what I can do and I want more of it."

Rory McIlroy shot 64 but could not keep an unwell Mike Lorenzo-Vera off top spot as the Frenchman carded the lowest opening round in the history of the DP World Tour Championship, Dubai.

World number two McIlroy, a two-time champion at Jumeirah Golf Estates, closed Thursday's play one stroke behind Lorenzo-Vera.

The pair turned in well-matched scorecards, each showing an eagle and a solitary dropped shot, but the four-time major winner sunk one birdie fewer than his rival. 

With former rugby player Niall O'Connor acting as his caddie, McIlroy went out in 31 but saved the best until last.

On the 18th hole, he nailed a stunning approach to within three feet and holed the subsequent eagle putt to conclude an excellent round.

Still it was shy of Lorenzo-Vera's effort, the world number 96 overcoming illness to earn himself a slice of history with an unmatched opening 18 holes to sit nine under.

"Honestly, I'm not feeling well at all," said Lorenzo-Vera, who has never won on the European Tour. "I have no energy. I had a big lung infection in South Africa and a big treatment and really feel bad on top of that.

"I felt that if I really relaxed a lot, just swing it like 70 per cent or maybe less, the ball was still flying pretty well. Try to be pretty clever and not too aggressive and then the putter got hot. So that worked."

Race to Dubai leader Bernd Wiesberger went round in 70 and is still projected to take the top prize based on day-one standings.

His closest rival for that honour at the start of the week, Tommy Fleetwood, dropped a couple of shots on the back nine to sign for a five-under-par 67.

Of the three other names in with a chance, Jon Rahm fared best as he got to six under, but Matt Fitzpatrick's 71 and The Open champion Shane Lowry's 73 are likely to have ended their hopes.

Tommy Fleetwood knows what it feels like to win the Race to Dubai but the pain of missing out is another motivating factor as he seeks to overhaul leader Bernd Wiesberger.

Ryder Cup star Fleetwood took the honour in 2017 and narrowly missed out on retaining his title the following year, but he is back in the mix and sits 722 points behind Wiesberger heading to the season-ending DP World Tour Championship, Dubai.

With 2000 points up for grabs at Jumeirah Golf Estates, there are three other players in contention for the crown, as Jon Rahm, Shane Lowry and Matt Fitzpatrick look to gatecrash the party.

Having ended his 22-month wait for victory by winning in Sun City last time out, Fleetwood is ready and raring to go.

"This is my third year in a row where I'm one of those players that has a chance to win the Race to Dubai. It's very special," he said.

"There's only a certain number of people that have the Race to Dubai on their resume and I'm lucky to be one of them. I think it's one of my greatest achievements and I think I have experienced both sides.

"In 2017 when I won, I led it for such a long time. In 2018, I set out and it was never a goal at the start of the year to win the Race to Dubai and all of a sudden just because it was a possibility it became something that really hurt when I didn't, but realistically, I had not thought about it all year until sort of the last few events that I had a chance.

"I just think it's important this year that I take those experiences into it and know that it still takes a lot to do it and it's not in my hands at all. I can only do my best this week, take one shot at a time."

Wiesberger has played 28 tournaments in the Race to Dubai season – 11 more than Fleetwood – and he is hoping to become the first Austrian to top the standings.

"Unfortunately, we haven't had an Austrian winner of the Race to Dubai or the overall rankings at any point," he lamented.

"Personally it would be a huge achievement for me. Growing up watching European Tour golf and watching legends like Seve [Ballesteros], [Jose Maria] Olazabal and Colin Montgomerie, who himself had won so many times in a row at the time when I started getting into golf – [that was] something that looked a long distance away, but obviously much closer now.

"We are looking forward to the next four days and going to give it everything we have, and hopefully if we count up all the points at the end of Sunday, we're still up there and it would be amazing.

"I'm very, very lucky right now in Austria with not only myself playing well this year but also Matthias [Schwab] doing a great job, and almost catching a couple titles this year."

Rory McIlroy is expecting a "fun week" after recruiting a familiar face to step in as his caddie for the DP World Tour Championship in Dubai.

After winning in Shanghai in his previous outing at the start of the month, McIlroy is back in action at the European Tour's season-ending event as he bids to finish a successful 2019 on a high.

The world number two has already won four tournaments this year and knows this week's course extremely well, having triumphed there previously in 2012 and 2015.

However, he will have to do so without the services of regular caddie Harry Diamond, who is absent following the birth of his first child. Instead, McIlroy has turned to long-time friend and former rugby player Niall O'Connor - who represented Ireland A during his career - to help him out.

"It's going to be a fun week to get out there with Niall on the bag and hopefully I can play well the first few days and we'll get into the heat of battle hopefully on the weekend and that will be something that will be fun for both of us," McIlroy said.

"I'll maybe take on a little bit more responsibility than I usually do and jot stuff down. It feels a little bit like when Harry first came on the bag a couple years ago.

"I took on a little more responsibility writing stuff in my yardage book and pacing stuff out. I actually quite enjoy that part, too.

"You know what, it will be fun. Obviously Niall and I go back a long way, so for me at this point it's just about trying to stay as relaxed and as loose as possible out there and he can definitely do that for me."

While McIlroy is chasing another title, he is not in the running to finish the year at the top of the European rankings.

Instead, five players are still battling to be crowned the Race to Dubai champion. Bernd Wiesberger leads the way but has some big-name contenders within striking distance, including Open champion Shane Lowry.

"I'm going to go out and give my best this week and no matter what happens, I will be sitting back next week with a major trophy in my cabinet this year, and I'll be happy with what I have," Lowry told the European Tour.

"But it would be incredible to add European number one to that list as well."

Lowry sits fourth in the standings, sandwiched in between Jon Rahm and Matthew Fitzpatrick. However, Tommy Fleetwood - victorious at the Nedbank Challenge last week - is the closest challenger to Austrian Wiesberger.

Tiger Woods earned his first PGA Tour victory since 2013 with a two-shot Tour Championship triumph and Justin Rose won the FedEx Cup at East Lake on Sunday.

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