Justin Thomas calls Rory McIlroy ‘one of my favourites’ after European Tour meltdown

Ryder Cup: Commentator says Rory McIlroy has been ‘scapegoat’

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American golf star Justin Thomas has labelled Rory McIlroy one of his ‘favourites’ following the Northern Irishman’s meltdown on the final day of the DP World Tour Championship.

McIlroy headed into the final round of the tournament leading the field, with many tipping him as favourite to collect the £2.2 million prize at the finale event of the European Tour season.

Even with nine holes of the event to play, the four-time major winner still found himself leading the pack, thanks to a steady start.

However a frustrating finish saw him pick up with three bogeys in his last four holes, allowing Collin Morikawa to swoop in and claim both the DP Tour World Championship and the Race to Dubai title.

Following his stumbled finish an image appeared to show McIlroy had ripped his playing shirt in frustration after making his way off the golf course.

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The image uploaded to Twitter showed the two-time DP Tour World Championship winner open chested whilst on his mobile phone post-round, with his polo shirt split into two.

As the picture went viral around the golfing world, one of the 32-year-old’s Ryder Cup rivals from this year’s event in Wisconsin, Thomas heaped praise on the clearly passionate McIlroy.

Thomas took to Twitter and wrote: “I love this. @McIlroyRory works his a** off and expects highly of himself, and is frustrated when it doesn’t go well. 

“Never treats people with disrespect, never makes a fool of himself, just plays with fire and passion. Why he’s as successful as he is and one of my favorites.”

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The man who took advantage of McIlroy’s misfortune was Morikawa, as whilst the Northern Irishman staggered to the clubhouse, the American took the final holes on the Earth Course to the sword on the way to victory.

After picking up just two birdies across the first 13 holes, the Open champion remarkably birdied four of the last five to ensure he left the Middle East with both the Race to Dubai title, and the DP World Tour Championship.

In doing so the 24-year-old became the very first American to be crowned the European Tour’s number one player, and not only did he come away with two pieces of silverware, but also a cool £3 million in prize money.

Speaking about becoming the first American winner of the prestigious seasonal prize Morikawa said: “It’s special, it’s an honour, really, to be the first American to do that on the European Tour.

“To put my name against many, many great Hall of Famers, it’s special. I get touched up just talking about that. 

“I came here last time, my first time to Dubai, obviously not having played too many European Tour events, and I told everyone that I wanted to come out here and win the Race to Dubai and win the DP World Tour Championship.”

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