Luke Donald became the first golfer ever to win the Money Titles at the tours on both sides of the Atlantic
History was written today at the Earth Course of the Jumeirah Golf Estates in Dubai.
Alvaro Quiros made a monster eagle-putt from across the 18th hole to secure the win at the Dubai World Championship presented by DP World.
On a day where the breeze never developed into the strong one that was predicted, Quiros finished at 19-under, two shots ahead of 1999 Open Champ Paul Lawrie, and three ahead of Race to Dubai winner and World's No. 1, Luke Donald.
To the "Luke! Luke! Luke!" cheers from the crowd, Donald, played a bogey-free six-under 66 and finished with three straight birdies, on his way to a solo third-place finish and become the 2011 Race to Dubai winner.
Earlier in the round, when Rory McIlroy finished his third consecutive round with a one-under 71, Donald officially became the first golfer to ever win the Money Title at the PGA and European Tours on the same year.
Tiger Woods actually won the most money on both Tours six times but never played enough European events to be included on the official list. That makes this one the historic feat for Donald, who went out and had one of the best years of all-time.
Donald, who recently lost his father had said he wanted to win it for his dad. Today his father would have been very proud at the remarkable accomplishment of his son.
McIlroy, who teed-off 40 minutes before Donald, never got to put the pressure on Donald. He made one birdie on the front nine and another one right after the turn. But then made a bogey right after at the 11th, and never got reeling again.
He finished T11 at nine-under for the tournament.
Meanwhile, Donald went for the Money Title, and the tournament right off the first tee. He was at three-under for the day through seven holes. But he was not able to mount a further charge, until he went on to finish birdie-birdie-birdie and put some pressure on the two leaders.
The leaders were Quiros and Lawrie, who exchanged leads during the day and gave a great show for the tournament title.
Quiros started the day two-shots ahead of Lawrie, and went off to a hot start by making birdies on the opening three holes. At that point, he was at 17-under and four shots ahead of Lawrie.
But from there to the turn, he made three bogeys and two birdies to exit in 34 at 16-under.
Lawrie started to make his move on the fourth hole. He made four birdies on the next five holes and made the turn in a bogey-free 31 and the lead at 17-under.
Then came the second most difficult hole on the course, the par-four 12th. It was a key hole for the battle between Quiros and Lawrie.
Lawrie hooked his tee shot into the rough, while Quiros hit his right down the middle. The second shot from Lawrie went from rough to sand, catching the left-hand bunker, while Quiros' second with an eight iron went about 30 feet past the pin.
Lawrie had a tough shot as his ball ran back into his pitchmark in the bunker. He did managed to get it out, but he made bogey on the hole dropping back into a share of the lead with Quiros. This was the only bogey of the round for Lawrie.
On the 14th hole, Quiros made a nice seven-foot birdie (his first birdie since the seventh hole) and took the one shot right-out lead with four holes to play.
On the 18th hole, Quiros drove it a mile down the left side of the fairway. Lawrie's tee-shot was to his left in the rough, making it unlikely to reach the green in two, so he layed-up with his second shot to 95 yards from the hole.
Quiros could have easily done the same thing with 260 yards to the hole. But he decided to go for the green with a three wood and reached the green across the hole.
That setup the remarkable eagle-putt from Quiros that gave him a three-shot lead and the tournament title. Lawrie finished making a 12-foot birdie to gain possession of solo second-place.
Quiros was aiming to make European Tour history by becoming the first player to win three different European Tour events in the Desert.
He had already won the Commercial Bank of Qatar Masters presented by Dolphin Energy and Omega Dubai Desert Classic. With this win, Quiros was able to make some history of his own.
Peter Hanson was the only other player to put some pressure on the leaders after making his seventh birdie of the day and get to 15-under on the 15th hole. But he found the water on the 17th hole and had to play his third back from the drop zone.
That meant a double bogey for Hanson and dropping back to 13-under and four shots behind Quiros at that moment. That ended his tournament title hopes. He finished in solo fourth-place at 14-under.
Masters Champ Charl Schwartzel finished fifth at 13-under. He carded a five-under 67 for the day.
Tied for sixth-place were 2010 Open Champ Louis Oosthuizen and Francesco Molinari at 12-under.
2010 U.S. Open Champ Graeme McDowell, and Robert Karlsson, who won here last year, had the day's lowest rounds at six-under. They finished T11 with McIlroy, Martin Kaymer and Sergio Garcia.
Lee Westwood had a rough day, carding a two-over 74 and finishing T29 at three-under.
Hopefully Donald will now get the recognition he deserves, and carry this momentum to next year and win his first major.
But he is not done for the year. He is now headed to Australia for the JBWere Masters this next weekend, so there is another chance to see the globetrotting No. 1 player in the World in action before the year ends.