The European Tour season ended with a bang as two major winners shared the spoils.
Danny Willett outfought fellow Masters winner Patrick Reed on the final day of the DP World Tour Championship.
The green jacket-clad duo went off as co-leaders on Sunday morning, but it was the Englishman who claimed the prestigious title for his first win in over two and a half years.
Willett shot a 68 to Reed’s 70 to win by two shots ahead of the American and three-time winner this season, Matt Wallace.
An eagle on the second hole and a birdie on seven saw him charge into the outright lead, and following two dropped shots after the turn, three birdies in the last five holes meant that he couldn’t be caught.
Willett was candid in speaking of his recent struggles.
“It’s been tough, I’m just massively proud of myself and everyone that’s been around me,” he said via EuropeanTour.com.
“You never quite know when a win is around the corner and with all the things that have happened, I was never quite sure if it was going to happen again. To happen here at the end of year, we’ve battled long and hard through this season to come out at the end, regardless of what happened today, a better person and a better athlete. It’s a special place.
“It’s been a hell of a lot of work and it’s just nice to be back.”
The tournament also heralded the end of the European Tour season, with Francesco Molinari claiming the Order of Merit.
The Open champion capped off an incredible year at closest competitor and friend Tommy Fleetwood, with his 26th place finish at -6 proving good enough to top the Race to Dubai list and pocketing €1m.
Again, the Italian was very much honest in expressing his thoughts on the triumph.
“It’s incredible,” said Molinari. “Now I’m going to have time to sit down and relax and really think back about the last few months.
“This morning on the first tee the announcement is the winner of The Open Championship, Race to Dubai leader, it doesn’t sound real at the moment.
“It’s more than I ever dreamed of achieving. I’ve seen guys that I think are better players than me not winning Majors and not winning Order of Merits or Race to Dubais. To achieve those things in one single season is just incredible.”
Rory McIlroy shot a +1 final round to finish -8 and just inside the top 20.
Shane Lowry also shot 73 to move back to -4 and 30th overall, while Paul Dunne’s solid Sunday 70 saw him move to 41st.
The trio finished 7th, 44th and 56th in the Race to Dubai respectively, securing their Tour cards for next season in the process, although McIlroy has suggested that he will instead focus on the PGA Tour next season.