COLLIN MORIKAWA waved the star-spangled banner as European No 1 — while Rory McIlroy felt so ‘flag-sick’ he tore his shirt off in frustration.
The American, 24, shot a brilliant final round 66 to win the DP World Tour Championship.
Morikawa celebrates with the trophy after making history yesterday[/caption]
He became the first player from his country to land the Race to Dubai title, pocketing £3million in the process.
McIlroy, meanwhile, finds new ways of coming up short on the big occasions.
And as he stormed away from the final green he got really shirty, savagely grabbing at his polo top and ripping it (right).
The Northern Irishman’s fall from grace began with a bizarre setback at the 15th.
His approach clattered into the flagstick and bounced back into a bunker — and instead of a birdie, McIlroy slumped to the first of three closing bogeys.
That sent him crashing from a share of the lead into a tie for sixth and his final dropped shot — at the par five 18th, where he dumped his second in the water — sealed a disappointing 74.
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McIlroy refused to talk, but Morikawa was buzzing after showing how to handle the pressure by playing the final 41 holes without a bogey.
He said: “It’s special. It’s an honour to be the first American to top the Order of Merit on the European Tour, to put my name against many great Hall of Famers.
“When I turned pro two years ago, it wasn’t even in my thoughts.
“It was, yeah, let’s go play around the world but we didn’t know how the cards were going to be dealt.
“There’s no better way to finish it off.
“I’m always looking for what’s next but I’m going to enjoy this one.”
England’s Matt Fitzpatrick looked like loosening Morikawa’s grip on the crown as he stormed into the lead on the back of seven early birdies.
But after 40 holes without a bogey, he dropped shots at 16 and 17 and had to settle for a 66 and a share of second with Swede Alexander Bjork.