Double Celebration for Quiros & Donald

Spain’s Alvaro Quiros produced a dramatic eagle on the final green to clinch a two-stroke victory over Paul Lawrie at the Dubai World Championship, while Luke Donald sealed his historic money-list double as he fired a final round of 66 to finish in third.

Quiros headed into the final day with a two-shot lead but, despite starting his round with three successive birdies, was overhauled by Lawrie after nine holes as the Scot breezed to the turn in just 31 blows.

But Quiros got his nose back in front with a birdie at the 14th and, after Lawrie had missed a good chance to draw level at the short 17th, closed out the win in stunning style on the final green with a snaking 40-foot putt.

But while the Spaniard bagged first prize, it was Donald who sealed the season-long Race to Dubai crown as he posted his second consecutive 66.

It means the Englishman now adds the European Tour title to the PGA Tour equivalent he won at the end of October – in so doing becoming the first man to win the money lists on both sides of the Atlantic.

Donald – who could only have lost the Race to Dubai crown if Rory McIlroy had won this week and he’d have finished outside the top nine – was a model of consistency again on Sunday, as he has been all year.

The 34-year-old did not drop a shot over his final 46 holes over the Earth Course as he ended on 16-under-par, three back of the winner and one behind Lawrie who made an important birdie putt of his own at the last to claim solo second.

“Congrats to Alvaro, what a three to finish and what an exciting way for the tournament to end,” Donald told Sky Sports afterwards.


Quiros and Donald

“I didn’t really look at a leaderboard until 13 knew I was a few back, but I didn’t see Rory’s name on it and at that point I knew the double was mine and I was going to finish number one in Europe as well.

Mixed emotions

“It was good, it was hard to concentrate in a way, I had so many mixed emotions, but I tried to finish strong and three birdies was a nice way to finish the year off.

“It’s something I really didn’t think was that possible. I played extremely solid, consistent golf all year – winning four times and playing right at the right moments. It’s testament to my hard work and it’s nice to see it paying off.”

Quiros was also in celebratory mood as he secured his second win of the season – and his second in Dubai – and his sixth career title on the European Tour.

Having fallen behind at the turn, the Spaniard found himself back on terms as Lawrie made bogey at 12 and never trailed again after taking advantage of his length to birdie the par-five 14th.

“It was unbelievable, obviously we weren’t checking the leaderboards because Lawrie was playing good enough to put me under pressure today,” he said.

“But after that I heard Luke’s birdie on 17 and 18 and I said on the tee, ‘this is unbelievable, this guy is impossible to leave behind!’

“But obviously it (the eagle at 18) was very special, I hit three wood from the tee and a great three-wood from a downhill lie and the putt, the putt is going to sleep with me tonight!

“He (Lawrie) was unbelievable, he was almost one putt per green. But at the same time I was playing good and that was the only thing I was thinking about.

“I was thinking if I’m good enough to stay in the same rhythm I’ll be in contention – I don’t know if I’m going to be the leader at the end of the 18 holes but I’m going to be in contention.

“I’m very pleased to finish 2011 winning twice, for many reasons but the main one is that the Ryder Cup team is next season and it’s a good push for me winning this tournament.”

Sweden’s Peter Hanson shot a 67 to finish in fourth on 14-under-par, while Masters champion Charl Schwartzel posted the same to score to take fifth a shot behind.

Francesco Molinari and Louis Oosthuizen shared sixth, Robert Rock and Shane Lowry eighth, while another Spaniard, Pablo Larrazabal, rounded out the top ten.