Robert Karlsson of Sweden won the Dubai World Championship presented by DP World after coming through a playoff against England’s Ian Poulter. Germany’s Martin Kaymer secured the Race to Dubai title.
Karlsson started the day three adrift of Poulter but made a fantastic start by making birdies at the first two holes. The Swede then took the lead by holing an eight-iron to the par-4 3rd for an eagle two.
The battle for the title was intense over the next few hours with Lee Westood, Alvaro Quiros, Paul Casey and Rory McIlroy all threatening Poulter and Karlsson at the top of the leaderboard.
Karlsson posted a total of 14-under-par after playing a sublime pitch to the par-5 last that set up a birdie four. His playing partner Lee Westwood was unable to match it after pulling his second shot to the closing hole into a water hazard. The resulting five meant the defending champion finished one stroke behind.
Poulter had a putt to win outright on the final green but it slipped past and he, like Karlsson, finished on 14-under-par. That meant extra holes were required to decide the championship so the pair headed back to the 18th tee.
The first extra hole was halved in birdie so it was back to the tee to try again. Second time round, both players set up short third shots to the green but Poulter mis-cued his sand wedge and ended some distance from the cup. Karlsson hit a sublime approach to leave a three-foot birdie putt.
On the green Poulter dropped his ball on his marker and incurred a one-stroke penalty. When he missed the following putt it meant Karlsson had two putts to take the title. He needed just one. He rolled his birdie effort home to become the second winner of the Dubai World Championship.
“It’s a fantastic field, and obviously when we have all of the best players in Europe together, the way it looks now, it’s going to be a great field – so to win here is fantastic,” he said
Poulter was understandably disappointed to come so close to securing a second successive title after winning last week’s Hong Kong Open.
“A lot of positives to take away, but right now I’m not really seeing them,” he said.
Germany’s Martin Kaymer finished the week in a tie for 13th place but that was good enough to secure the Race to Dubai title. He became only the fourth continental European after Seve Ballesteros, Bernhard Langer and Robert Karlsson to lift the Harry Vardon Trophy as European Number 1.
Dubai World Championship presented by DP World
Jumeirah Golf Estates, Dubai
Nov 25-28, purse €5,655,000, par 72
1 Robert Karlsson (Swe) 65 75 67 67 274 €910,349
2 Ian Poulter (Eng) 69 66 69 70 274 €606,897
T3 Alvaro Quiros (Esp) 72 67 69 67 275 €314,070
T3 Lee Westwood (Eng) 69 67 71 68 275 €314,070
5 Rory McIlroy (NIR) 71 72 66 67 276 €218,484
T6 Paul Casey (Eng) 70 67 71 69 277 €168,021
T6 Francesco Molinari (Ita) 71 67 68 71 277 €168,021
8 Thongchai Jaidee (Tha) 68 69 69 73 279 €147,477
T9 Luke Donald (Eng) 74 67 69 70 280 €131,090
T9 Seung-yul Noh (Kor) 66 73 74 67 280 €131,090
Note: Player in bold signifies Titleist ball usage only