Victor Dubuisson birdied three of his final four holes Sunday to win the Turkish Airlines Open, the first tournament in the four-event Race to Dubai Final Series. The 25-year-old Frenchman closed with a 66 at the Montgomerie Maxx Royal course to finish at 22-under-par 266, one stroke ahead of South Africa’s Jaco van Zyl (closing 67).
Who didn’t win
Van Zyl, a 13-time winner on his homeland’s Sunshine Tour, came up short in his bid for his
first European Tour title despite holding or sharing the lead after each of the the first three rounds. Thailand’s Kiradech Aphibarnrat birdied the first four holes Sunday and led midway through the front nine but couldn’t make anything happen down the stretch; he finished third at 20 under after a final-round 67. Rory McIlroy was in the mix after two early birdies but fell from contention after making three bogeys around the turn. After a 71, McIlroy finished T6 at 16 under.
How it happened
Van Zyl opened with rounds of 61-69 to lead by
two strokes at 14 under. His first round featured nine birdies and an eagle. With a third-round 67 Dubuisson took a share of the 54-hole lead at
16 under with Van Zyl (70), while McIlroy lurked one back after posting a third consecutive 67. On Sunday, Dubuisson birdied the first two holes to surge ahead but fell three behind van Zyl after a double bogey at No. 5 and a bogey at No. 7. The Frenchman recovered with a birdie at No. 9, a remarkable par save at 10 and a chip-in eagle on the par-5 11th. Van Zyl nosed ahead with consecutive birdies at 13 and 14, but Dubuisson clinched the title with an impressive finishing kick.