Rory McIlroy’s precision helped keep him from winning his third career DP World Tour Championship.
Co-leading at the par-4 15th, and following 335-yard drive, McIlroy’s 36-yard approach shot clanked off the flatstick and into a greenside bunker.
He failed to get up and down from there and made bogey, dropping one back of Morikawa, who birdied the same hole from two groups ahead of McIlroy.
McIlroy fell further back after three-putting for bogey at the 16th hole. Morikawa, meanwhile, birdied Nos. 17 and 18 – part of a back-nine 31 – to clinch a three-stroke victory in the tournament and become the first American to win the European Tour’s season-long Race to Dubai title.
McIlroy began the year by holding the 54-hole lead in Abu Dhabi, only to shoot even-par 72 in the final round and finish five back of winner Tyrrell Hatton. He completed his year by holding a one-shot lead in Dubai, only to shoot 2-over 74 and finish five back of Morikawa.
McIlroy closed his tournament with a bogey – finding the water on his second after hooking his tee shot – for an inward 38, seven shots worse the American. An angered McIlroy appeared to have ripped his shirt following his round and did not speak with the media.
Between those two defeats, however, McIlroy won twice on the PGA Tour, including last month at the CJ Cup in Las Vegas. He won the DP World Championship in both 2012 and ’15.