Lee Westwood Image Credit: Gulf News Archive

Dubai: Lee Westwood claimed the European Tour Race to Dubai title on Sunday at Jumeirah Golf Estates for the second time — 21 years after his first crown.

Englishman Matthew Fitzpatrick took the glory at the season-ending DP World Tour Championship on the Earth Course, but Westwood’s second place was enough to overtake American Patrick Reed at the top of the season-long Race to Dubai standings.

Westwood - who was carrying a back injury - famously warned before the tournament "beware the injured golfer" and he was proved right with a brilliant final round as Reed fell away.

"It's been a bizarre season... The European Tour have done an incredible job to pick the season up again from July and have tournaments on every week," Westwood, who made five birdies and had one bogey, said.

"The culmination of it all here, it was a great finish, sat there watching it. Thrills and spills, the Race to Dubai up for grabs and the tournament up for grabs.

"It's been 20 years since I sat there at Valderrama to win the Order of Merit as it was then. It's not getting any easier, I'm not getting any younger." Westwood said he would love to play in the Ryder Cup again, with the event pushed to next year due to the COVID-19 crisis.

"At some point I'm hoping the captaincy is going to be offered," Westwood added. "I've played 10 Ryder Cups, at certain times you have to move into different chapters of your life. If I did qualify, I would give it my all and be ready for it."

Fitzpatrick, who had a share of the lead before the final round, began with birdies on the opening four holes and added a further gain before the turn and finished steadily to seal his first Rolex Series win.

Top finishes

-15 Matthew Fitzpatrick (England) 68 68 69 68

-14 Lee Westwood (England) 70 68 68 68

-13 Viktor Hovland (Norway) 71 69 66 69

Patrick Reed (USA) 70 64 71 70

-12 Laurie Canter (England) 71 66 68 71

Sami Valimaki (Finland) 69 69 69 69