(CNN) -- Lee Westwood charged to a runaway victory in the inaugural Dubai World Championship on Sunday to be crowned Europe's number one golfer this year.
Westwood saved his best to the final round as he shot a course-record eight-under 64 for a four round total of 23-under 265.
It earned him $1.25 million to overtake Rory McIlroy in the Race to Dubai, winning a bonus prize of $1.5 million.
He finished six shots clear of fellow Englishman Ross McGowan with Northern Ireland prodigee McIlroy in thid place after a closing six-under 67.
McIlroy, who went into the season finale leading the money list, started the final round five shots adrift of leader Westwood and could make no impression in a frustrating front nine.
Recording pars when birdies were needed, the 20-year-old out his frustration on an advertising hoarding, but he improved coming home.
Westwood was in a class of his own as he claimed Europe's top spot for the fisrt time since 2000 and topped the list with earnings of $6,376,984 for the year, leaving McIlroy in second place with $5,432,358.
There were emotional scenes as the 36-year-old Westwood celebrated his 31st career victory.
"This is definitely the biggest moment of my career today," he said.
"Rory is only 20 -- I can't even remember what it was like to be 20 -- and he will have many more chances ahead of him to win the money list.
"But this is my moment."
Westwood had a two-shot lead over McGowan going into the last day and was out of sight by the seventh as he carded five birdies.
He also paid tribute to his long-time caddie Billy Foster, who told him before the week to ignore leaderboards and let other contenders worry about him.
"Billy told me to go out and bully other people. To make them take notice of me, rather than the other way round," Westwood said.
Geoff Ogilvy of Australia (67) and Padraig Harrington of Ireland (68) finished tied for fourth at 274.