Rory McIlroy eased to a comfortable three-shot victory at the Dubai Desert Classic to get his 2015 season into top gear.
Leading by four shots after 54 holes, thanks, in part, to a stunning second round 64, the 25-year-old world number one did not require any heroics on the final day’s play. Instead, he compiled a considered two-under par 70 to post a record-equalling winning total in the event of 22 under par.
His nearest overnight challenger, Morten Orum Madsen, triple-bogeyed the first hole to fall away, leaving Sweden’s Alex Noren, coming back from injury, to take second place following a closing 65, with defending champion Stephen Gallacher in third, six shots behind McIlroy.
The victory means McIlroy has managed four wins and three runner-up finishes in his last seven European Tour events.
“I played a solid round of golf and did what I needed to do to keep my nose in front,” McIlroy said. “I felt like I was a little bit tentative over the first few holes, but I guess we’ve seen what can happen to big leads these last few weeks with Martin [Kaymer] and Charl [Schwartzel] in Abu Dhabi and South Africa. I was conscious of that and making sure I didn’t make any mistakes.”
RORY’S WINNING BAG:
Driver: Nike Vapor Pro 8.5 Neutral (MRC Diamana S+ XTS 70X)
Fairway Wood: Nike Vapor Speed 3-wood/15 and VRS Covert 5-wood/19
Irons: Nike VR Pro Blade (3-9)
Wedges: Nike VR Forged 46, 54 and Nike Engage Dual Sole 59
Putter: Nike Method 006
Ball: Nike RZN Black
Footwear: Nike Lunar Control 3