- Rory McIlroy has started a year with a win for the first time in his decorated career after defeating Patrick Reed to claim the Dubai Desert Classic
- This is the third time that he has captured the Dubai Desert Classic title
Rory McIlroy has started a year with a win for the first time in his decorated career after defeating Patrick Reed to claim the Dubai Desert Classic.
The world No. 1 player overcame a final-round charge from Patrick in a thrilling contest on Monday. This is the third time that he has captured the Dubai Desert Classic title. The win means Rory has joined Els with three career victories at the event, the most of any player in history.
Rory McIlroy has not finished outside the top four in his last seven professional tournaments. He has won three of those tournaments, which include the CJ Cup and Tour Championship. Rory has lost to only ten players in his last seven starts.
Prior to the Dubai Desert Classic tournament, McIlroy and Patrick Reed were embroiled in a tussle. And after winning the title, McIlroy said that it was tough because he thought his emotions could have gotten his way.
“Mentally, it was very tough today. I felt like I could have let my emotions get in the way. I expended a lot of mental energy today, trying to focus on myself and focus on shooting a score and trying to reach a number. I had to work really hard to forget about who was up there and just try to focus on myself.” Rory McIlroy said, as per CBS Sports.
Heavy rains caused delays, forcing play to extend to the fifth day. In the end, it was Rory who walked home as the champion.
How The Game Unfolded
Rory McIlroy had a good start in the final round of the Dubai Desert Classic as he took an early lead. He shot 66-70-65 in the first three rounds, clearly showing his intentions of winning the title.
His opponent, Patrick Reed, had different plans playing in the finale. McIlroy couldn’t get going when the former Masters champion was seven under through 13 holes.
Patrick played the first 15 in under 2, which is a very good score. However, it was not enough considering the whole field charging.
McIlroy hit his approach to 4 feet on No. 17 to make the putt for birdie before giving himself a 14-footer for another birdie on the 72nd hole. The North Ireland international canned it for a birdie-birdie finish to claim the Dubai Desert Classic.
Meanwhile, Australia’s Lucas Herbert closed with a six-under 66 to finish third on under 16. Ian Poulter, who now plays on the LIV Golf circuit, had a good chance to join Lucas on the LIV Golf circuit. However, he dunked his third shot into the water on the par-five last.
Henrik Stenson hit the lowest round of the day, an eight-under 64, thereby climbing to 12 under.