(Reuters) Francois Cecco Molinari finished the race to Dubai after Tommy Fleetwood did not win the World Championship of the World Championship, where Danny Willett won his first England title in 2-2 years on Sunday.
Molinari enjoyed an exceptional season, winning his major championship for the British Open debut along with his first Rolex Series at the BMW PGA Championship.
The English Fleetwood, who had to win at Jumeirah Golf left to overtake the Molinari on a tour of the European Tour, finished with a final round four under 68 for a 10-place under 8 overall, eight shots behind the winner and eventually wilted.
"It's amazing," Molinari said. "Now I will have time to sit and relax and really think about the past few months.
"This morning on the first Tee announcement is the winner of the Open Championship, the race for the leader of Dubai, it does not sound real at the moment.
"That's more than I ever dreamed of achieving, I saw a friend that I think they are better players than me and not winning Meig and not winning the Order of Skill or Race to Dubai. To get the stuff in one season is simply amazing."
Molinari was also part of Europe's victory in the Ryder Cup at the US in Le Golf National in September, becoming the first European to win five points out of five.
These four points have been won in association with the Fleetwood team member.
"It's hard because it was probably easier to play against everyone else than him (Fleetwood)," added Molinari.
"I know how talented he is and I really thought at one point he was going to beat him and put me in a difficult place.
"He's definitely a great guy and a super talented player and I'm sure to be younger than me, he's going to win a few more races to Dubai."
Back to winning ways
Willett produced a late rooster trip to return to the circle of winners for the first time since the unforgettable victory of Masters USA in 2016.
The 31 year old seemed to have missed his chance when he started his nine back with two bogeys in three holes.
However, the birds at 14, 15 and 17 promised he signed for the final round 68, finishing two shots before playing partner Patrick Reed and his compatriot Matt Wallace.
Wilt missed five of his first seven cuts this season, but the eighth stage in the Open Italy sparked his campaign for life before writing his sixth European title on Earth.
"You never know exactly when a victory is around the corner and with all the things that happened, I was never sure if it was going to happen again," he says.
"In order to happen here at the end of the year, we fought throughout the season until the end of the season, regardless of what happened today, a better person and a better athlete."
(Reported by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru, edited by Toby Davis)