Day seals emotional World Cup triumph
JASON DAY brought the World Cup of Golf at Royal Melbourne to a hugely emotional conclusion as he sealed a memorable victory for himself, for Australia and, above all, his family as they grapple with the awful aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines.
Day (26) kept nearest challenger, Thomas Bjorn of Denmark, two strokes at bay to claim the most prestigious win of his career a fortnight after eight members of his family, his grandmother, an uncle and six cousins, lost their lives in the disaster.
To his credit, Day vowed to donate a portion of his $1.2m winner's cheque to the relief effort. All of Australia shared Day's joy as he and Masters champion Adam Scott finished 10 ahead of their nearest challengers and defending champions, the US, in the team standings.
Scott recovered from Thursday's 75 to claim third place on seven-under with rounds of 68, 68 and 66.
Ireland shared 11th with Sweden on nine-over. Graeme McDowell, who looked threatening after a bogey-free 67 on Saturday, slumped into a five-way tie for 15th (worth $100,000) on one-over after a closing 75.
Shane Lowry finished seven shots behind his team-mate in 44th place ($35,500) after his four-day struggle to get to grips with rock hard, super-fast greens culminated in a birdie-free final round 74, though he managed to make par at his nemesis hole, the 18th.
While Lowry's season is over and he looks forward to a holiday Down Under, McDowell will wrap up 2013 with the defence of his title at Tiger's World Challenge in Sherwood Country Club the weekend after next.
Day recovered from a double-bogey at 10 to play the final eight holes of his final-round 70 in a rock-steady one-under. Bjorn's hopes of forcing a playoff were scuppered by bogeys on 16 and 18 as he closed with a level-par 71.
As they celebrated Australia's first World Cup victory in 24 years, Day and Scott called for change to a format which is proposed for golf's return to the Olympic arena in Rio.
Though happy with the scoring system, which was 72 holes strokeplay, with the team prize going to the pair who achieved the lowest aggregate score, the Australians said they'd prefer to play with their team-mate and not as individuals.
At no stage over the four days did Day or Scott play together. On the few occasions when team-mates did link up, it was by chance.
Scott heads for Royal Sydney and this week's Australian Open showdown with Rory McIlroy hoping to complete the 'Grand Slam' in his homeland after winning back-to-back at the Aussie PGA and Masters in the fortnight before the World Cup.
Meanwhile, Dane Morten Madsen (25) clinched his maiden European Tour victory as a final-round 67 at Glendower GC in Johannesburg left him two clear of Jbe Kruger and Hennie Otto on 19-under at the South African Open, the first event of the new season.
Simon Thornton, the only Irishman to make the cut tied 59th on one-over with a par 72, earning €3,245.