London: Rory McIlroy has become the European Tour`s youngest money list winner since Sandy Lyle in 1980 after won 2,966,985 pounds in prize money in 2012 as Matteo Manassero claimed the Barclays Singapore Open in a play-off.
But it was only when 19-year-old Italian Matteo Manassero also eagled the 18th more than two hours after McIlroy had holed a 30-foot putt that the champagne could be poured.
Already with the PGA Tour title in the bag, the 23-year-old world number one emulated the double achieved by Luke Donald last season when Manassero beat South African Louis Oosthuizen with a 12-foot putt at the third play-off hole.
If Oosthuizen had won he could still have caught McIlroy, but instead Manassero became the first player to win three times on the circuit before the age of 20. Not even Seve Ballesteros managed that.
McIlroy, watched during the week by girlfriend Caroline Wozniacki, stormed through to third place with a closing six-under-par 65.
“I left myself a little bit too much to do to win, but it was a great way to finish off the round and the tournament,” a daily quoted McIlroy, as saying.
On clinching the money list double McIlroy said: “It really is hugely satisfying to finally become the European number one, especially after finishing second two of the last three years.”
“It has always been one of my goals ever since securing my Tour card five years ago, but then to also end the year as both European and PGA Tour number one is just amazing. I feel so proud and humbled to join so many fabulous names in Europe who have won the Order of Merit,” he added.