In an astonishing scene, overnight leader Rory McIlroy ripped his shirt in sheer rage on his way into the recorder’s tent after letting a record-breaking third DP Tour Championship triumph slip from his grasp on the Earth Course at Jumeirah Golf Estates.
As a result of a seven-shot swing over the back nine in the season-ending Rolex Series event, victory went instead to Collin Morikawa as he created history in style in becoming the first American to be crowned as the Race to Dubai champion.
“It feels so good,” said Open champion and world No 2 Morikawa of his feat, having birdied five of the last seven holes for a closing 66 and a 17-under-par total, winning by three shots from defending champion Matt Fitzpatrick and Swede Alexander Bjork.
MacIntyre finished a stroke further back alongside Dane Nicolai Hojgaard as both players climbed into the top 10 in the final Race to Dubai standings, ending up ninth and eighth respectively.
Coming two years after he finished 11th as a rookie, MacIntyre’s top-10 effort secured him a spot in next year’s US Open, completing the full set of 2022 majors for the 25-year-old from Oban.
Two shots behind McIlroy at the start of the day, MacIntyre was still in the hunt for a second European Tour win until an errant tee shot at the 12th led to a double-bogey 6, which he followed with a bogey at the short 13th.
His head could easily have dropped for the remainder of the round, but the left-hander showed he’s come a long way mentally in a short space of time since feeling as low as he’s been after closing with an 82 in the Portugal Masters last month.
Helped by three birdies in the last four holes, including a sweet one to finish after he’d taken a 6 at the 18th in the previous two rounds, MacIntyre signed off with a 71 - his ninth sub-par effort on the demanding Greg Norman-designed course.
Grant Forrest, the other Scot left in the field after Calum Hill’s withdrawal following the opening round due to the infection from a recent mosquito bite flaring up, closed with a 67 - his best score so far in eight circuits - to finish in a tie for 16th on nine-under.
On the back of his strong sign off, Forrest climbed two spots to 36th in the Race to Dubai, just coming up short in his bid to secure a spot in next year’s 150th Open at St Andrews through finishing in the top 30.
After dropping seven spots to 32nd, Hill will also have to rely on an alternative route in his bid to join Bounce Sport stablemate MacIntyre in the milestone Claret Jug event.
As for the defending champion next July, he’s not about to rest on his laurels. “Win more,” said Morikawa of his goals for 2022. “I'm going to set some high goals. I always have. I'm going to set the bar as high as I can get and keep going.”