McIlroy ends year on high at Burj Al Arab

World no.3 hit a series of bunker shots from the helipad of the hotel

Rory McIlroy proved he is still at the top of his game - with a series of breathtaking bunker shots from the top of Dubai's Burj Al Arab hotel.

The 22-year-old US Open champion, who has scaled to the summit of the golfing world in the past 12 months, took to the seven-star venue's helipad to show off his skills.

The world No.3, who is dating Danish tennis star Caroline Wozniacki, kept his cool as he blasted the ball from 700 feet above Dubai's Jumeirah beach.

His US Open triumph by eight strokes at the Congressional Club in Washington DC in June, was the most dominant display of golf since Tiger Woods won the US Open by 15 strokes and the British Open by eight strokes when at the height of his powers in 2000.

Such a stunning show of confident shot-making was all the more remarkable in that McIlroy had once again shown signs of weakness, just two months beforehand at The Masters.

On that occasion he led by four going into the final round but was left in despair as he slumped to a closing 80 that put him into a tie for 15th behind South Africa's Charl Schwartzel who birdied the tough last four holes at Augusta National to win his first Major.

And the global brand ambassador for Jumeirah will be hoping to still have his head in the clouds at the BBC Sports Personality of the Year 2011 Award.

He is shortlisted for the top prize alongside Darren Clarke, who he pipped to win the US Open and who is ranked one place above him in the world rankings.

The other nominees are Cyclist Mark Cavendish, cricketers Alastair Cook and Andrew Strauss, golfer Luke Donald, athletes Mo Farah and Dai Greene, boxer Amir Khan and tennis star Andy Murray.

McIlroy, who scooped the Northern Irish Personality Award earlier this week, followed in the footsteps of golfer Tiger Woods as he watched his step in the heavens of Dubai.

And in 2007, tennis stars Andre Agassi and Roger Federer played on an artificial court overlooking the bay.

The US Open champion fired a shot from a specially created tee on the roof of Dubai’s 1,053 feet Burj Al Arab hotel overlooking Jumeirah beach.
The youngster failed to pip Luke Donald in the Race to Dubai at the Earth Course but hotel staff looked impressed with McIlroy’s bunker play.
McIlroy produced the single top display of the year when he won his first Major, the


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