Westwood inspires McIlroy to win
Rory McIlroy revealed Lee Westwood's stunning 62 at the Nedbank Golf Challenge helped spur him on to a crucial victory after the Northern Irishman won the Hong Kong Open by two strokes.
McIlroy produced a superb final-round 65 at Hong Kong Golf Club to finish two shots clear of Gregory Havret on 12 under par, and keep alive his hopes of overhauling Luke Donald for The Race to Dubai title at next week's Dubai World Championship.
But having seeing Westwood tear up the Sun City course in South Africa, the 22-year-old felt he had to triumph in Hong Kong to protect his world number two ranking. He said: "One of the goals going out was to win this tournament to keep myself in with a shout next week."
He added: "It's very dependent on what Luke does because he's got such a big lead but if I can somehow get myself into contention next week, you never know.
"Another little bit of motivation was that I woke up and saw Lee Westwood shoot 62 in Sun City and I thought I really needed to win to stay above him in the world rankings. It was nice to be able to do both.
"I had a lot to play for, trying to keep my hopes alive for the Race to Dubai and seeing that I needed to go out and produce a really good score if I wanted to keep my number two ranking."
Having struggled with fatigue the previous two days, a five kilometre run before his final round seemed to rejuvenate McIlroy as he carded five birdies in a bogey-free round, chipping in from a greenside bunker at the last to win in style.
Having twice finished runner-up in Hong Kong, including a heartbreaking play-off defeat to Lin Wen-tang three years ago, McIlroy was delighted to finally get his hands on the trophy.
"It feels like it was a long time coming. It's fantastic. I've loved the tournament ever since I played my first one in '07, I felt like the last owed me something after what happened in the play-off in a way.
"I had to wait a few years for it to finally happen but to win this tournament is very special," he said. "No matter how prestigious tournaments are, you always have your favourites and this is definitely one of my favourites and to be able to win it is fantastic. I couldn't be happier."