Rory McIlroy: Stenson has been one of the most consistent players in the world for the last 10 years
The 27-year-old has finished his season with a round of 65 to finish alongside the Swede14:51 Sunday 20 November 2016, 14:51 20 Nov 2016
Rory McIlroy congratulated Henrik Stenson on his victory in the Race to Dubai, with the Holywood golfer sitting three places further back in fourth.
The pair both recorded final rounds of 65 to sit alongside each other on T13 and after his round, McIlroy said that the success on the tour is no less than he deserves.
"It's a great achievement," he told Nick Dye. "I think what you need to do - especially someone like Henrik who plays both sides of the Atlantic on two tours - you have to have those big wins.
"Winning The Open was huge for him. He's been one of the most consistent players in the world for probably the last ten years.
"I remember when he won the Dubai Desert Classic back in 2007 when I was an amateur. He's been one of the most consistent players for the last few years and it was great to see it rewarded not only with the Race to Dubai title this week, but with an Open Championship as well."
McIlroy, who won the Race to Dubai title last year, said that playing alongside Stenson for his final round improved his own game as well.
"It did, Henrik got off to a really fast start. I didn't need to try and keep up with him but it's good to see your playing partner playing well and hole putts. I sort of just tried to hold onto his coattails during that front nine, Henrik probably had more chances on the front nine than I did to try and really make some headway.
"He's had a phenomenal year... He deserves it."
Rory McIlroy at the DP World Tour Championship this week in Dubai. Image: Kamran Jebreili / AP/Press Association Images
With regards to his own round McIlroy said: "It was nice, I really got it going around the end of the front nine. I felt there could have been something really special on.
"I was looking at the board and I was six under through nine, thinking I was maybe three behind at that point but it wasn't quite meant to be. Difficult to keep that momentum going heading into the back nine. A good 65 to finish, played well and now I'm looking forward to a few weeks off.
"Looking back on the week, Thursday is the day I'm going to rue I guess. Had I just shot something around level par or one under, I would have been right in the tournament. I played well for the remaining three days, at least I redeemed myself a little bit."
This year's season ending DP World Tour Championship was won by Matthew Fitzpatrick who dethrones McIlroy as the youngest player to ever win the tournament. The English golfer is 390 days younger than McIlroy was when he triumphed back in 2009.
With the season now over and the off-season there to enjoy before the 2017 season, McIlroy outlined what was next for him and fianceé Erica Stoll.
"Thanksgiving next week is a big deal in our household now. So we'll have Thanksgiving in New York and then back home to Northern Ireland for a couple of weeks.
After that, I'm going to come back out here to Dubai for eight or nine days in the middle of December to test some equipment and come back home again for Christmas."
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