Rory McIlroy defended his title at the Hero Dubai Desert Classic and made a little history, too.
The 34-year-old Northern Irishman won the event for a fourth time on Sunday at Emirates Golf Club in the UAE, the first to do so in DP World Tour history.
McIlroy was 10 shots back entering Saturday’s third round before a 9-under 63 on Saturday vaulted him into the final group on Sunday. Two shots back to start the final round, the 17-time DP World Tour winner made three birdies on his front nine and held on to win by one shot at 14 under despite just one bogey on the round at the par-5 13th, his lone bogey of the weekend and first since the 11th hole on Friday.
“It’s a great start to the season,” said McIlroy who finished runner-up at last week’s Dubai Invitational. “I started well last year with the win here. A couple of little things still to work on but these weeks are great. You learn a ton from them and obviously great to get the competition and come out on top as well.”
“I thought on Friday night, I thought ten under for the weekend, I would have a really good chance to win,” he continued. “I shot (11 under) and ended up winning by one.”
If you’re keeping track at home, that’s now six wins in Dubai for McIlroy, where he’s adored by the fans.
— DP World Tour (@DPWorldTour) January 21, 2024
“I’ve played the game long enough to sort of know how these things are going to go. Thankfully I played the golf I needed to and it’s just incredible to get my fourth win here at the Emirates.”
Adrian Meronk (71) finished runner-up at 13 under, while Cameron Young (74) came in third at 12 under. Pablo Larrazabal shot the low round of the day, a 6-under 66, to finish T-4 at 10 under alongside Aaron Cockerill (68) and Joaquin Niemann (70).