McIlroy Wins Dubai Desert Classic





McIlroy Wins Dubai Desert Classic

Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy held his nerve to claim his first professional title at the Dubai Desert Classic at the Emirates club.

McIlroy, 19, carded a final round two-under-par to take the title by just one stroke from Englishman Justin Rose, his playing partner.

The Irishman almost allowed Rose to steal victory as three bogeys in as many holes almost wiped out the six-shot advantage he enjoyed with six holes to play.

“You see guys coming down the stretch with a four or five shot lead, and you think it’s easy, and it’s not,” McIlroy admitted. “You still have to play the shots, and you still have to hole the putts.

“I got myself into a great position, middle of the back nine, and then led a few shots slip and Justin birdied a couple, as well, so I fought back. It was nice to just hold it together on the last and get a great up and down for the victory.”
Rose also missed a 15-foot birdie putt at the last which would have forced at least a play-off with McIlroy.

But Rose was generous in defeat saying: “I’m obviously pleased for Rory, first and foremost, and I knew the situation coming in. The wind really picked up and it’s hard to close out your first win. I just knew I had to stick around.

“I really wasn’t trying to focus on the tournament. I was trying to focus on what I was trying to do.”

The win takes McIlroy up to 14th in the world rankins and makes him the seventh youngest winner in The European Tour’s history.

McIlroy uses Titleist golf clubs including Titleist Z Muscle Forged irons, a Titleist 909D2 driver and a Titleist Scotty Cameron studio select putter. He also uses Titleist Pro V1x golf balls.

“To hold off a field like this, as well, you look down the leaderboard and you have people like Justin Rose, Paul Casey, Henrik Stenson, Sergio Garcia, Martin Kaymer, Colin Montgomerie; you have so many big names there and to be able to beat a field of that quality is very satisfying,” admitted McIlroy.

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