Jon Rahm was crowned this year's Race to Dubai winner after a birdie at the 18th hole secured the DP World Tour Championship for a second time in his career.

The Spaniard had held a six-shot lead at one stage during the final round, only for playing partner Mike Lorenzo-Vera and a fast-finishing Tommy Fleetwood to close the gap and set up a tense finish.

Fleetwood carded five birdies over the final seven holes to set the clubhouse lead at 18 under par, leaving him to sit and watch on as his 2018 Ryder Cup team-mate finished his round.

Rahm found a bunker with his approach shot to the par-five 18th but held his nerve to get over the line, chipping onto the green before rolling in a putt that not only clinched the tournament but also confirmed he will end the season as the European Tour's number one.

"I feel like I'm going to start crying," an emotional Rahm - who also triumphed at the Jumeirah Golf Estates in 2017 - told Sky Sports. "Man, it was such an up-and-down day.

"[On the] eighth tee I had a six-shot lead and I came down 18 needing a birdie to win. It was hard trying to battle out there, I kind of lost the swing a little bit."

He added: "Hard to believe that besides the putt, the first three shots on 18 is about as calm as I've been all day.

"I told myself on 18, 'How many times do you dream of having to birdie the last hole to win a tournament?'. I hit the best drive of the week, a great four iron the wind didn't take, an outstanding bunker shot and then made the putt."

Rahm's eventful score of 68 mixed eight birdies with four bogeys. He had started the week sitting third in the Race to Dubai standings, but a fourth title on the Rolex Series made sure he will finish 2019 on top.

In doing so, the 25-year-old becomes only the second Spaniard to win the European Tour's order of merit, following in the footsteps of the legendary Seve Ballesteros.

As for Fleetwood, his seven-under 65 was enough to finish alone in second place, with three putts on the final green forcing Lorenzo-Vera to settle for third.

Having led the way in the Race to Dubai going into the final event, Austrian Bernd Wiesberger slipped down the final standings after taking a share of 28th place.

Mike Lorenzo-Vera is wary of being bitten by the "big dogs" chasing him as the battle for the Race to Dubai title hots up at the DP World Tour Championship.

Lorenzo-Vera holds a three-shot lead on 12 under at the halfway mark at Jumeirah Golf Estates after carding a three-under second round of 69 on Friday.

The Frenchman, who signed for a stunning 63 on day one in Dubai, led by seven strokes on the back nine but bogeyed the last after also dropping a shot at 15.

Tommy Fleetwood and Jon Rahm are in a share of second place in what promises to be a dramatic tussle to be crowned European number one on Sunday, with the Englishman in pole position for that honour as it stands.

Bernd Wiesberger, Race to Dubai leader heading into the season-ending tournament, has work to do at three under, while Shane Lowry and Matt Fitzpatrick are also in contention.

Rory McIlroy is six shots adrift of leader Lorenzo-Vera, who is braced for a tense weekend as he eyes a maiden European Tour triumph.

The world number 96 said: "Tactically I know what I have to do, and I know that the winds are going to be different this weekend.

"I'm not going to push more than what I'm doing now. I'm trying to trust my putter 100 per cent and that's what I can do.

"I've got a three-shot lead and it's better than three shots behind. It's just going to be stressful because it's big dogs behind me that are going to try to bite me, so it's going to be interesting."

Fleetwood, winner of the Nedbank Golf Challenge last weekend, knows he must not suffer a lapse in concentration with so much at stake.

"It's just a classic case of trying to stay in the moment and take each shot as it comes," he said. "There's a lot going on over the weekend; there's a lot of different scenarios and players in the mix.

"There's a lot of things going on around you so the more internally focused you can be and the more you can just stay in your bubble, it will just be a great challenge going into the weekend trying to do that."

Mike Lorenzo-Vera holds a three-shot lead in the DP World Tour Championship, while Tommy Fleetwood and Jon Rahm boosted their chances of winning the Race to Dubai title on Friday.

Lorenzo-Vera started the day with a one-shot lead ahead of Rory McIlroy after signing for an opening 63 - the lowest first round in the history of the tournament.

The Frenchman led by a mammoth seven shots on the back nine at Jumeirah Golf Estates, but his advantage over Fleetwood and Rahm was reduced to three when he bogeyed the last hole.

Lorenzo-Vera, bidding to win a first European Tour title in what is the last event of the season, is 12 under after signing for a three-under 69 on the Earth Course.

The world number 96 started with back-to-back birdies and hit the turn in 33 after further gains at the seventh and eighth holes, but a second dropped shot of his round at 15 and another at 18 mean he is not sitting quite so pretty.

Fleetwood carded a four-under 68 and is course to be crowned European number one for a second time, a seventh birdie of the day at the final hole also enhancing his prospects of winning back-to-back titles.

The Englishman, who claimed the Nedbank Golf Challenge title last weekend, was seven adrift of Lorenzo-Vera when the leader chipped for a birdie at 14, but is well poised in a share of second place with Rahm.

Rahm sunk a putt from around 12 feet for an eagle-three at 18, recovering well on the back nine after a double-bogey at the eighth.

The Spaniard and Fleetwood both know they can be crowned Race to Dubai champion if they finish solo second, provided Bernd Wiesberger fails to shoot up the leaderboard.

Austrian Wiesberger started the season finale as the man to catch and will be guaranteed to fend off the rivals chasing him down if he finishes outright second, but is joint-13th following a 71.

Shane Lowry and Matt Fitzpatrick, the other two contenders to win the Race to Dubai, are in a share of 13th and 17th respectively.

McIlroy is six shots off the lead after a disappointing 74, while Tom Lewis sits five behind Lorenzo-Vera on seven under.

Rory McIlroy shot 64 but could not keep an unwell Mike Lorenzo-Vera off top spot as the Frenchman carded the lowest opening round in the history of the DP World Tour Championship, Dubai.

World number two McIlroy, a two-time champion at Jumeirah Golf Estates, closed Thursday's play one stroke behind Lorenzo-Vera.

The pair turned in well-matched scorecards, each showing an eagle and a solitary dropped shot, but the four-time major winner sunk one birdie fewer than his rival. 

With former rugby player Niall O'Connor acting as his caddie, McIlroy went out in 31 but saved the best until last.

On the 18th hole, he nailed a stunning approach to within three feet and holed the subsequent eagle putt to conclude an excellent round.

Still it was shy of Lorenzo-Vera's effort, the world number 96 overcoming illness to earn himself a slice of history with an unmatched opening 18 holes to sit nine under.

"Honestly, I'm not feeling well at all," said Lorenzo-Vera, who has never won on the European Tour. "I have no energy. I had a big lung infection in South Africa and a big treatment and really feel bad on top of that.

"I felt that if I really relaxed a lot, just swing it like 70 per cent or maybe less, the ball was still flying pretty well. Try to be pretty clever and not too aggressive and then the putter got hot. So that worked."

Race to Dubai leader Bernd Wiesberger went round in 70 and is still projected to take the top prize based on day-one standings.

His closest rival for that honour at the start of the week, Tommy Fleetwood, dropped a couple of shots on the back nine to sign for a five-under-par 67.

Of the three other names in with a chance, Jon Rahm fared best as he got to six under, but Matt Fitzpatrick's 71 and The Open champion Shane Lowry's 73 are likely to have ended their hopes.

Tommy Fleetwood knows what it feels like to win the Race to Dubai but the pain of missing out is another motivating factor as he seeks to overhaul leader Bernd Wiesberger.

Ryder Cup star Fleetwood took the honour in 2017 and narrowly missed out on retaining his title the following year, but he is back in the mix and sits 722 points behind Wiesberger heading to the season-ending DP World Tour Championship, Dubai.

With 2000 points up for grabs at Jumeirah Golf Estates, there are three other players in contention for the crown, as Jon Rahm, Shane Lowry and Matt Fitzpatrick look to gatecrash the party.

Having ended his 22-month wait for victory by winning in Sun City last time out, Fleetwood is ready and raring to go.

"This is my third year in a row where I'm one of those players that has a chance to win the Race to Dubai. It's very special," he said.

"There's only a certain number of people that have the Race to Dubai on their resume and I'm lucky to be one of them. I think it's one of my greatest achievements and I think I have experienced both sides.

"In 2017 when I won, I led it for such a long time. In 2018, I set out and it was never a goal at the start of the year to win the Race to Dubai and all of a sudden just because it was a possibility it became something that really hurt when I didn't, but realistically, I had not thought about it all year until sort of the last few events that I had a chance.

"I just think it's important this year that I take those experiences into it and know that it still takes a lot to do it and it's not in my hands at all. I can only do my best this week, take one shot at a time."

Wiesberger has played 28 tournaments in the Race to Dubai season – 11 more than Fleetwood – and he is hoping to become the first Austrian to top the standings.

"Unfortunately, we haven't had an Austrian winner of the Race to Dubai or the overall rankings at any point," he lamented.

"Personally it would be a huge achievement for me. Growing up watching European Tour golf and watching legends like Seve [Ballesteros], [Jose Maria] Olazabal and Colin Montgomerie, who himself had won so many times in a row at the time when I started getting into golf – [that was] something that looked a long distance away, but obviously much closer now.

"We are looking forward to the next four days and going to give it everything we have, and hopefully if we count up all the points at the end of Sunday, we're still up there and it would be amazing.

"I'm very, very lucky right now in Austria with not only myself playing well this year but also Matthias [Schwab] doing a great job, and almost catching a couple titles this year."

Rory McIlroy is expecting a "fun week" after recruiting a familiar face to step in as his caddie for the DP World Tour Championship in Dubai.

After winning in Shanghai in his previous outing at the start of the month, McIlroy is back in action at the European Tour's season-ending event as he bids to finish a successful 2019 on a high.

The world number two has already won four tournaments this year and knows this week's course extremely well, having triumphed there previously in 2012 and 2015.

However, he will have to do so without the services of regular caddie Harry Diamond, who is absent following the birth of his first child. Instead, McIlroy has turned to long-time friend and former rugby player Niall O'Connor - who represented Ireland A during his career - to help him out.

"It's going to be a fun week to get out there with Niall on the bag and hopefully I can play well the first few days and we'll get into the heat of battle hopefully on the weekend and that will be something that will be fun for both of us," McIlroy said.

"I'll maybe take on a little bit more responsibility than I usually do and jot stuff down. It feels a little bit like when Harry first came on the bag a couple years ago.

"I took on a little more responsibility writing stuff in my yardage book and pacing stuff out. I actually quite enjoy that part, too.

"You know what, it will be fun. Obviously Niall and I go back a long way, so for me at this point it's just about trying to stay as relaxed and as loose as possible out there and he can definitely do that for me."

While McIlroy is chasing another title, he is not in the running to finish the year at the top of the European rankings.

Instead, five players are still battling to be crowned the Race to Dubai champion. Bernd Wiesberger leads the way but has some big-name contenders within striking distance, including Open champion Shane Lowry.

"I'm going to go out and give my best this week and no matter what happens, I will be sitting back next week with a major trophy in my cabinet this year, and I'll be happy with what I have," Lowry told the European Tour.

"But it would be incredible to add European number one to that list as well."

Lowry sits fourth in the standings, sandwiched in between Jon Rahm and Matthew Fitzpatrick. However, Tommy Fleetwood - victorious at the Nedbank Challenge last week - is the closest challenger to Austrian Wiesberger.

Bernd Wiesberger produced a superb six-under 65 at the Italian Open on Sunday to snatch victory from Matt Fitzpatrick by a single stroke.

Wiesberger had been solid if unspectacular all week, sitting three shots behind overnight leader Fitzpatrick heading into the final round in Rome.

But the Austrian found his best form over the last 18 holes as several around him stuttered, with Fitzpatrick only managing a 69 - his highest score of the tournament.

It meant Wiesberger's bogey-free effort was enough to win on the European Tour for the third time this year, having missed much of the 2018 season with a wrist injury.

The 34-year-old also returned to the top of the Race to Dubai standings while climbing to 22nd in the world rankings.

"It's been a great summer for me," he said. "I've had a lot of good golf shown and a lot of progress after coming back from the injury last year.

"I've won three times this year and it's been the same every time, I've just really enjoyed my time and I'm positive to be back out there because I know how tough it was when I had to withdraw from these great events.

"I feel excited about what is ahead of us in these last four events."

Fitzpatrick was far from the only player to allow Wiesberger through, as both Kurt Kitayama (12 under in third) and Robert MacIntyre (11 under in joint-fourth) played even-par rounds.

Fitzpatrick said: "To lose by one is obviously very disappointing. I think I've played well when I've been up there on a Sunday, just other people really keep grinding and I keep coming up from behind.

"It is what it is. It's still a great week, I'm here to win and not here to just make up the numbers."

Matt Wallace tied for seventh despite a 72, having started the day level with Wiesberger.

Justin Rose made a seven-under 64 but it was not nearly enough to atone for Saturday's miserable 78 that had him back at par, finishing in a tie for 15th.

Matt Fitzpatrick made a strong finish to his third round at the Italian Open to regain a one-shot lead in Rome.

Fitzpatrick started moving day with the slenderest of advantages, and after struggling early on he returned to the top of the leaderboard after coming up with four birdies in his last six holes.

American Kurt Kitayama looked set to be the man to catch on the final day at Olgiata Golf Club after a sparkling 65 - before Englishman Fitzpatrick gained momentum to post a three-under 68 and move to 13 under.

Fitzpatrick dropped a shot at the second after starting with a birdie, and made another bogey at the 10th, but he got back into the groove with a late charge courtesy of a combination of excellent approach shots and clinical putting.

"To put myself one in front gives me a little bit of help," said five-time European Tour event winner Fitzpatrick. "I'm just looking forward and I'm ready to go already.

"Coming down the hill on the 12th it didn't feel like I should be one over. I didn't hit as many good shots as I would have liked around the turn so that cost me a little bit and put me back. To finish the way I did was great."

American Kitayama finished the day in second place after signing for a bogey-free, six-under score.

Kitayama reached the turn in 32 after making three gains on the front nine and picked up another three shots to put himself firmly in contention.

Scotland's Robert MacIntyre also surged up the leaderboard with a magnificent 64 to stand third, just two shots adrift of Fitzpatrick, while Bernd Wiesberger and Matt Wallace both went round in 67 and were a further shot back.

Paul Casey won his first European Tour title in five years after clinching the European Open crown in thrilling fashion on Sunday.

Casey shared the lead at 12 under par with Bernd Wiesberger, Robert MacIntyre and Bernd Ritthammer heading into the final three holes in Hamburg.

The Englishman had started the final round one shot adrift of overnight leaders MacIntyre and Ritthammer, and posted three-under 31 on the front nine to maintain his position.

MacIntyre held a one-shot lead at the halfway stage, but a mistake on the 12th gave Casey a chance which the 42-year-old took advantage of with a birdie on the next hole.

Casey was pegged back but nosed himself back ahead on the 16th with a superb birdie putt, with MacIntyre and Ritthammer squandering the opportunity to force a play-off on the 18th.

It was enough to earn Casey a one-shot victory, as he finished on a six-under 66 and 14 under par overall.

"I get emotional at every victory but this year's been so fantastic," Casey said after winning his 14th European Tour trophy.

"This is an incredibly prestigious trophy, it's got a lot of history to it on the European Tour and I'm so happy to be champion.

"Every hole is crucial, and big putts on 16 and 17, it was nice to make the putts when it counted, and that really was the key this week."

Bernd Wiesberger recovered from a late wobble to defeat Benjamin Hebert in a play-off and secure his sixth European Tour title at the Scottish Open.

The Austrian came into Sunday's final round at The Renaissance Club two clear of his nearest challenger Erik van Rooyen but he was overtaken by an inspired Hebert, who carded a nine-under 62 to move atop the leaderboard.

Wiesberger had regained his lead with a birdie at the 16th but a subsequent bogey and a par to finish saw him close on 22 under for the tournament, level with Hebert.

Both men parred and then bogeyed on the first two trips back up the last before Hebert three-putted and Wiesberger holed his effort from five feet to secure victory.

Hebert could at least console himself with qualification for The Open next week, while Andrew 'Beef' Johnston and Nino Bertasio also secured their spots at Royal Portrush for the final major of the year.

Johnston, who revealed last week he has been struggling with mental health issues, was emotional after reflecting on a stunning 62 that featured 10 birdies and a solitary bogey as he finished in a tie for fourth on 19 under.

"It's a nice feeling," a tearful Johnston told Sky Sports. "I guess it's been a hard year, so, yeah, I'm happy. I've tried so hard in the last year and to come out and shoot a score like that is just such a nice feeling."

Bernd Wiesberger moved two strokes clear atop the Scottish Open leaderboard with a six-under 65 in the third round on Saturday.

The Austrian came into the penultimate day as the joint-leader at The Renaissance Club alongside Erik van Rooyen and Lee Slattery, having posted a superb 61 on Friday – the lowest round of his career.

Another seven birdies and just one bogey, at the par-three 17th, moved Wiesberger to 20 under, the lowest score after 54 holes at this event, with South Africa's Van Rooyen sitting second following a four-under 67.

Wiesberger, who missed seven months last year with a wrist injury, is a man in form having won the Made in Denmark in May before finishing in a tie for second at the Irish Open last week.

Slattery dropped to five shots off the lead after a disappointing one-under 70, while Romain Langasque and Nino Bertasio are four adrift on 16 under.

Rory McIlroy followed up his two rounds of 67 with a 68, leaving the four-time major champion nine back in a tie for 31st.

Bernd Wiesberger's resurgence continued with an outstanding 10-under 61 on day two of the Scottish Open on Friday.

The Austrian's sensational round at The Renaissance Club saw him join Lee Slattery and Erik van Rooyen at the top of the leaderboard in a three-way tie on 14 under.

The 33-year-old carded 11 birdies - six of which came in a row from holes five to 10 - to maintain his strong form.

Wiesberger missed seven months with a wrist injury but won the Made in Denmark event in May and finished in a tie for second at last week's Irish Open.

"It's been tough the last year. Coming off injury, it's been hard but winning in Denmark a couple of weeks ago is a big boost to me," he said.

"I really enjoy my time out on the golf course again, maybe take it not as seriously as I've done before and let it go and that really helped me, just feeding off rounds like this today. I hadn't shot 10 under in a professional event yet, so that was a nice bonus. It's just going with the flow and things worked out very well today."

Englishman Slattery hit seven birdies in a blemish-free 64 on day two, while South African Van Rooyen also finished on seven under for the second day in a row.

Players needed a score of five under to make the cut, with Rickie Fowler and Padraig Harrington among those to miss out.

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