Justin Rose Made Rory McIlroy Dig Deep on Sunday at Dubai

Fred AltvaterContributor IINovember 27, 2012

Justin Rose set a new course record but still lost to Rory McIlroy on Sunday
Justin Rose set a new course record but still lost to Rory McIlroy on SundayRoss Kinnaird/Getty Images

Justin Rose has had a pretty good year in 2012.  He won the WGC-Cadillac on the PGA Tour and finished second to Rory McIlroy in DP World Championship and in the Race to Dubai.

In addition, Rose won over $4 million on the PGA Tour with his win at Doral, a runner-up at the Tour Championship, and a third-place finish at the PGA Championship. 

His putt in his singles match with Phil Mickelson on the 17th hole in the Ryder Cup at Medinah Country Club to even the match going into the last hole was truly one for the ages. 

The Mickelson-Rose match was the fourth out for the day.  Luke Donald, Ian Poulter, and Rory McIlroy had already won the first three matches to bring the European team to within one point of the Americans. 

A Phil Mickelson birdie on No. 14 had given him a one-hole advantage heading to the final two holes.  Mickelson would go on to par out but Rose made the bomb for birdie on No. 17 and finished with a birdie on No. 18 to win the match 1-up and bring the European team even with Team USA.

In Dubai this weekend, Rose trailed McIlroy by six shots after 54 holes in the DP World Championship.  His final-round 10-under par 62 established a new course record on the Earth Course at Jumeirah Golf Estates in Dubai. 

His eagle putt on the last hole on Sunday had to navigate a huge ridge and looked like it might stop at the top of the hill 25-feet short of the hole.  It continued to tumble and took a full 15 seconds to finish on the lip for the tap-in birdie.

With McIlroy still on the course, Rose posted 21-under par and was the leader in the club house.

McIlroy did what great champions do.  He proceeded to birdie the last five holes to get to 23-under par and win by two shots.  He didn’t need the win at Dubai to win the European Tour’s top prize—the Race to Dubai.  He had already sewn that up with his third-place finish at the Barclays Singapore Open two weeks ago. 

Great champions don’t worry about the money or the circumstance they just see the finish line and the trophy that goes to the winner.  It’s all about winning.

It seems that just like the great thoroughbred Secretariat, Rory has a slightly bigger heart than everyone else and always has just a little bit more that he can summon when the occasion calls for it.

This win at the DP World Championship puts an exclamation point on a very good year for young Rory. 

Five wins, one a major, two wins in the FedEx Cup Playoffs, a beautiful and talented girlfriend, as well as a new multi-million dollar contract with Nike makes for a career year.