RORY McILROY summed up his day and his year in one word in Dubai: "Unbelievable".
Golf's 23-year-old world No.1 finished his 2012 with five brilliant birdies to add the DP World Tour Championship to everything else he has achieved.
McIlroy needed something special after Justin Rose had produced something extraordinary – a 10-under-par 62 that was not only a course record by two, but also the lowest round of his 14-year European Tour career by two.
At one point Rose had gone from six behind to two in front, but McIlroy didn't just get the better of his head-to-head with world No.2 Luke Donald, he got the better of Rose, too.
When a 12-foot putt went in on the final green for his fifth suc-cessive birdie he had shot a third 66 of the week and, on 23-under, had won by two for a double worth more than £1.4million.
The tournament victory – his fifth of the year – earned him almost £840,000 – and for topping the European Tour money list, just as he did in America, he collected nearly £630,000.
Not that such figures blow his mind any more. The USPGA champion was playing with Titleist clubs for the last time before switching in a deal with Nike worth a reported £156million over the next 10 years.
He said: "I saw Justin make a charge – I heard the cheers – but to finish like that was great.
"I could not have wished for any better. To back up 2011 with another major (like the first by a runaway eight-shot margin) and to be part of an unbelievable story at the Ryder Cup has made it an incredible year.
"But hopefully I can emulate it or do even better next year!"
Meanwhile, throughout Tiger Woods' career, he has been known for wearing a red shirt on the final day of tournaments – it is his "power" colour he says.
But McIlroy had a somewhat different reason for doing it again yesterday.
"It was actually the only clean shirt I had. That's the honest truth," said McIlroy.