McIlroy: King of the desert

European Tour

Rory McIlroy won the Omega Dubai Desert Classic by three strokes on Sunday.

The Northern Irishman was in control during the final round, finishing with a two under 70 to finish on 22 under at the Emirates Golf Club event.

On his own in second place was Sweden’s Alex Noren on 19 under who closed with superb 65 and was making his first return to the European Tour since 2011.

McIlroy, in the lead since Friday, adopted a measure approach on the final day in Dubai. After a birdie on the third, he would drop a shot on the fifth and be under slight pressure from former world number one Lee Westwood, who was four shots behind.

However, the 25-year-old got up and down from bunker on the tenth to card birdie and rolled in another courtesy of a booming drive on the 13th.

In the meantime, Westwood had double bogeyed the ninth, taking the pressure off McIlroy, who proceeded to par his way home to a tenth European Tour win.

Defending champion Stephen Gallacher found himself on his own in third place on 16 under, while Martin Kaymer and first round leader Bernd Weisberger were in the chasing pack on 15 under.

“It’s nice to be able to put my name on that trophy again,” said McIlroy, who has now won four and been runner-up in three of his last seven European Tour starts.

“It felt like I was coming second every time I was teeing it up so it was time for a change and obviously the only way I wanted to go was one better and thankfully I was able to do that today,” he told europeantour.com.

“I played very nicely all week; I did what I needed to do today. I didn’t play quite as well as the first three days but I played a solid round of golf and kept my nose in front.”

Martin Kaymer and Charl Schwartzel had both seen substantial final round leads overhauled in recent weeks on The European Tour, and McIlroy admitted he had been concerned about suffering a similar fate.

“I felt like I was a little tentative the first few holes out there,” he added.

“I guess we’ve seen what can happen to big leads out there the last few weeks and I was conscious of that and making sure that I wasn’t making any mistakes.”

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