Antalya – Swashbuckling Frenchman Victor Dubuisson won the Turkish Airlines Open for the second time in three years while Rory McIlroy suffered a frustrating time on the greens to finish joint sixth on Sunday.
Dubuisson broke down in tears after capping victory in style with a birdie-birdie finish as he returned a 66 for a 22-under-par total of 266 at the $7 million European Tour event.
South African Jaco Van Zyl, bidding for a wire-to-wire victory, could only manage a closing 67 for 267, one ahead of third-placed Thai Kiradech Aphibarnrat (67).
World number three McIlroy performed to his usual high standards from tee to green but was let down by a cold putter as he carded a 71 for 272.
Dubuisson made his Ryder Cup debut in 2014 but has had a disappointing year this season after deciding to try his luck on the PGA Tour.
On Sunday, the 25-year-old produced a top-class scrambling performance on and around the greens that was reminiscent of the late, great Severiano Ballesteros.
Dubuisson conjured an unlikely par save at the 10th after being forced to take a drop when an errant drive went left and at the next hole he chipped in for a spectacular eagle three.
The Frenchman holed a 14-foot putt at the 17th to join Van Zyl on 21-under before hitting a huge drive and a majestic approach at the par-five 18th to set up another birdie.
Cries of ‘Victor, Victor’ rang out among the French fans in the gallery with Dubuisson sobbing like a child as he celebrated by hugging his coach on the green.
While the tournament winner was overcome with joy, four-times major champion McIlroy lamented his closing effort.
“It was not the finish I wanted, but I feel like I’ve seen good enough signs this week to suggest I can play well the next couple,” said the 26-year-old.
“My game didn’t hold up as well as I wanted it to today, but next week is another opportunity to get myself into the mix again and see if I can handle it a bit better,” added McIlroy in reference to the WGC-HSBC Champions in Shanghai.
The Northern Irishman went into the final round one stroke off the lead and his title challenge faded around the turn after bogeys at the eighth, ninth and 12th.
“I felt like I hit some good putts that didn’t go in, but I made a couple of bad strokes on the back nine,” said McIlroy.