South Africa’s Garth Mulroy took sixth place in his first Alfred Dunhill Links Championship at the weekend with his closing 68 at St Andrews on the Old Course to move into 61st place in the 2013 Race to Dubai – just one place out of a spot in the DP World Tour Championship.
This year the Race to Dubai will conclude with four tournaments – the $7-million BMW Masters, the $8.5-million WGC-HSBC Champions, the $7-million Turkish Open and the $8-million DP World Tour Championship, Dubai – which combine for ‘The Final Series’ offering a prize fund of $30.5-million.
Should he qualify for the DP World Tour Championship – and therefore earn a chance to compete for the Race to Dubai $3.75-million Bonus Pool – he will have to participate in two of the three events preceding the season finale.
Mulroy has not played the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship before, always having scheduling issues with the PGA Tour and Web.com Tour, but he liked what he experienced in Scotland this year. “Now I see what I’ve missed out on. I’ll be back,” he said.
He built the foundation for his strong finish on a third-round seven-under-par 65 around Carnoustie, but it was consistency which elevated him up the leaderboard, with just a single bogey in each of his rounds.
Although he was within three strokes of the play-off which featured winner David Howell and runner-up Peter Uihlein, he figured he had too much to do in the final round to be able to push for victory.
“I’m happy,” he said. “Today, you had to get a few going out. It was downwind, and there were a lot of birdie chances going out, so that’s where you had to make your score.
“Coming home was a totally different story. It was about holding on as hard as you can. The last five or six holes were playing pretty long.
“I said to my caddie if I’d had a better front nine and made a few more birdies, I might have had a chance but I was just too far back.”
He also appreciated the value of his final round at the ‘Home of Golf’: “I can see how the Old Course can get you pretty badly, when the weather gets bad and it gets windy,” he said. “Fortunately, I only hit it in one fairway bunker this week, and that’s obviously the way to keep a big score at bay out here.”
His finish was his fourth top-10 in the 2013 Race to Dubai, starting with his share of third behind runaway winner Charl Schwartzel in last year’s Alfred Dunhill Championship. He followed that up with a share of ninth at the Joburg Open and fourth in the Africa Open.
He heads to next week’s Portugal Masters knowing that a good finish will propel him inside the top 60, giving him a little leeway in the following week’s Perth International ahead of The Final Series.