Rory McIlroy wins Race to Dubai as Max Homa caps African adventure with title triumph
Homa’s title triumph in South Africa, coupled with Adrian Meronk and Ryan Fox finishing 15th and 51st respectively, left McIlroy with an unassailable lead heading in the season-long standings heading into the DP World Tour Championship in Dubai.
McIroy’s second successive Race to Dubai triumph comes on the back of two victories in Rolex Series events this season, having won the Hero Dubai Desert Classic back in January before adding the Genesis Scottish Open in July. The world No 2 will now be aiming to cap off his year in style by adding one more victory as he joins the defending champion, Jon Rahm, in the season finale on the Earth Course at Jumeirah Golf Estates in the United Arab Emirates.
Homa, meanwhile, is up one spot to seventh in the world rankings after the 32-year-old landed his first international win by capping off an African adventure with an impressive-four shot success at Gary Player Country Club in Sun City. “It’s been a dream ten or 11 days,” said Homa of a trip that had started as he joined Justin Thomas and their wives on safari in the Rainbow Nation before becoming the e fifth American winner of ‘Africa’s Major’ and first for 17 years since Jim Furyk’s second triumph in Sun City in 2006.
Having closed with a six-under-par 66, Homa finished with a 19-under total, winning by four shots from Nicolai Hojgaard (68), with another Dane, Thorbjorn Olesen, one further back after his 69. Thomas secured fourth spot on 12-under after a 66, but it was compatriot who travelled home with the trophy. “I really believe even if I came up short today, this is one of the more memorable weeks I’ve ever had,” added Homa, who signed off with an effort that was illuminated by an eagle-3 at the ninth and also contained six birdies. “The safari last week with JT and Jill and my wife Lacey, I just don’t know how to put it into words so to come out the next week and put the cherry on top was special. All the vibes were good this week.”
Homa won some new fans outside the US when he visited North Bewick for a game during last year’s Genesis Scottish Open in East Lothian and enjoyed being back there for the Rolex Series event in July, when he tied for 12th behind McIlroy. “I’ve always wanted to do this, but we’ve never had the opportunity,” said the Californian of now being a winner on the DP World Tour. “It’s always difficult to finish the season on the PGA Tour, get a week or two off, start our season back up and then fly all the way over here and then come back and play again. To have an off season, I’ve been licking my chops at the opportunity, just for the experience. I’ve wanted to experience what this game has to offer and to have the opportunity to get an invite to play here, I was very grateful for that.”
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