Dubuisson ends nightmare but Rory fades as Lowry sneaks top 10
Víctor Dubuisson. Getty Images

Víctor Dubuisson. Getty Images

Shane Lowry proved that golf is the game played on the six inch course between the ears when he put three average rounds behind to move up from fifth to third in the Race to Dubai after the closing 66 in the Turkish Airlines Open.

The Clara ace straightened out his swing overnight and missed just one green in regulation as he compiled a six under par closing round to snatch eighth place on 15 under par, one stroke behind a misfiring Rory McIlroy (71) and seven adrift of a resurgent champion, Victor Dubuisson.

The emotional, 25-year old Frenchman, who had fallen more than 50 places to 69th in the world  since January and suffered an alarming loss of form, made his third birdie in four holes at the 18th for a 66 and a one-stroke win over South Africa’s Jaco Van Zyl on 22 under par.

“Putting,” Dubuisson said after a two-putt birdie at the 18th proved enough to break out of a 72nd tee tie for the lead with Van Zyl.

After watching Kiradech Aphibarnrat of Thailand missed tiddler on the last that left him third, two behind on 20 under, Dubuisson said: “For me, it's all about the putting.

“My putting was really bad this year and short game, as well. But it's because I didn't really have time to practise a lot. You know, when you start to putt really bad on the greens, then you lose your confidence.”

The 2014 Ryder Cup star could also have mentioned his miraculous pitch and putt par after penalty drop in the trees at the 10th or the chip-in eagle at the 11th that kept him in touch with the leaders.

He had just 105 putt all more, more than a dozen fewer than McIlroy or Lowry, who are not the world’s greatest putters.

“The big thing with my putting this year is it has been under too much pressure because I haven’t played that well,” McDowell said after the 73-75 weekend that ended his European Tour season prematurely.

"By the time you get to the greens, you need it too badly. So you start getting in your own way on the greens.”

McIlroy’s long game misfired yesterday but having started the day just a stroke behind Dubuisson and Van Zyl, he made two early birdies at the third and fourth but then lost his swing and did well to card a one under 71 for a share of sixth on 16 under, six behind the winner.

“I'll be going away from this tournament very disappointed with how I played today,” said McIlroy who started hitting iron shots left and failed to get up and down for pars at the eighth, ninth and 12th.

“But I'm still playing two more events this year and I feel like my game is good enough to give myself two opportunities to win again.”

Under pressure on the greens, McIlroy didn’t putt well either, using the blade 31 times.

But that wasn’t a problem for Lowry, who rediscovered his fade by moving the ball forward in his stance, and gave himself 17 birdie chances yesterday.

He took four of them and chipped in for an eagle three at the fourth to boot, carding a bogey free, six under 66 that could have been several shots better had he converted good birdie chances at the ninth, 15th and 18th, to name just three.

Still, a cheque for €156,449 and nearly 200,000 “Enhanced Points" moved Lowry up to third behind McIlroy in the Race to Dubai with three events remaining to the Ulsterman’s two.

After three average rounds to start, the Lowry of 12 months ago might have lost patience before Sunday but he found his game again yesterday and reaped the rewards.

“I was going out today just to hit the ball well and find something for next week,” said Lowry, who moved the ball forward in his stance and rediscovered his fade, hitting a best of the week, 195-yard five iron to four feet at the ninth only to miss the putt. “I am looking forward to getting to China now.

“I even hit a couple of nice fades today, which was good. I drove the ball really well again. Bogey free 66 on any Sunday, it is the right day to do it.”

McDowell drove poorly and closed with a 33-putt 75 for a share of 37th on five under and now turns his attention to the 2016 season on the PGA Tour with the OHL Classic at Mayakoba in Mexico and the McGladrey Classic in Georgia his last two stops of the year.

“A disappointing weekend, disappointing way to finish what has been a positive six weeks,” McDowell said of his post-US PGA form. ”I am just looking forward for this year to be over to be honest with you.

“I can go in Mexico in two weeks for the Mayakoba and look at that as the start of my ’16 season.”