| 8.7°C Dublin

Bahamas chance for Rory McIlroy as Seamus Power and Leona Maguire reflect on a year of success

Close

Rory McIlroy looks dejected on the 18th green after Day Four of The DP World Tour Championship at Jumeirah Golf Estates in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Photo: Andrew Redington/Getty Images

Rory McIlroy looks dejected on the 18th green after Day Four of The DP World Tour Championship at Jumeirah Golf Estates in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Photo: Andrew Redington/Getty Images

Rory McIlroy looks dejected on the 18th green after Day Four of The DP World Tour Championship at Jumeirah Golf Estates in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Photo: Andrew Redington/Getty Images

Rory McIlroy fumbled the chance to win his third DP World Tour Championship as Collin Morikawa clinched a Dubai double.

But while the Holywood star’s two wins this year prove he’s close to his best again, he’ll hope his final-round 74 is not the continuation of a trend.

The four-time Major winner (32) has led three times into the final round over the past two years but failed to break par or convert any of those leads into victories.

He shot 73 in the Genesis Open at Riviera last year to finish tied fifth behind Adam Scott, then ended up third behind Tyrrell Hatton in Abu Dhabi in January after a closing 72.

In fact, McIlroy has been in the top 10 heading into the final round 20 times over the past two years but won only twice, shooting 11 rounds over par.

His post-round shirt-ripping in Dubai showed his massive disappointment at displaying weakness to a major rival such as Race to Dubai champion Morikawa (24), who has won five of his last eight events when within five shots of the lead heading into the final day.

McIlroy will be doubly determined to end 2021 on a high when he joins Open champion Morikawa at Tiger Woods’ Hero World Challenge in the Bahamas in a fortnight and continue the stellar play that’s brought him two PGA Tour wins so far this year.

But while Jonathan Caldwell, Cormac Sharvin, Niall Kearney and Paul Dunne tee it up in the Joburg Open, the first of a trio of South African events to open the new DP World Tour season, Séamus Power and Leona Maguire have downed tools after a remarkable year.

Sport Newsletter

Get the best analysis and comment from our award-winning team of writers and columnists with our free newsletter.

This field is required

Power (34) has moved up 359 places from 429th to 70th in the world following a breakthrough year that brought him his maiden win in the Barbasol Championship and another five top-10s following Sunday’s tie for fourth behind Talor Gooch in the RSM Classic.

“Hopefully, it’s not a peak, but I certainly feel like I’m on the up,” said Power, who won €256,000 at Sea Island to take his 2021 earnings to €1.63m and move to 25th in the FedExCup standings.

“Got some things figured out like the last 12 months or so, so hopefully, I can continue to put it together on the course.”

Maguire’s tie for 12th in the CME Group Tour Championship ended a sensational year that brought five top-10s from 20 starts, taking her career earnings on the LPGA Tour beyond one million dollars.

“It’s as good a rookie year as I think I could have expected,” said the Cavan star (26). “It’s gone better than I expected. I’ve achieved pretty much all my goals for this year. Obviously it would have been nice to get a win, but I’ve pretty much done everything but that.”



Privacy