Rory McIlroy ended a disjointed 2016 season in the grand manner with victory at the DP World Tour Championship to secure the Race to Dubai title for the third time in four years. McIlroy finished one shot ahead of England's Andy Sullivan with a final round 66 to end on 21-under at Jumeirah Golf Estates.
Overnight leader Sullivan had threatened an upset after pulling out a three-shot advantage on day four but a round including eight birdies saw the Northern Irishman claim the tightest of victories. While Sullivan is now third in the Europe Ryder Cup points list, champion McIlroy is already looking ahead to the new season.
"[I had to dig] very deep," McIlroy, who was replaced by Jordan Spieth as the world number one this year, told Sky Sports. "Andy is some player. Credit to him. He is a fantastic player and he's got all the shots. I know one of his big goals next year is to make the Ryder Cup team and I think he'd be a huge asset to Europe.
"[Finishing as number one in Europe] was what I want to do at the end of the season. I set my goals in October to try and in the race to Dubai and to at least win a tournament before the end of the year so do that is fantastic.
"It caps the year off nicely. It has been a little bit of a struggle at times but to finish it off like this is fantastic. I am going to enjoyed a few weeks off now and get ready for next season.
"I am really excited [for 2016]. I feel like my game is back to a level that I want it to be at. I think everyone saw it over the last couple of days that this is the way I can play." The four-time major champion, who missed his defence of The Open Championship after suffering an ankle injury playing football, added: "If I can play like this there are obviously more tournaments and majors for me if I can stay injury free next year."