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11 December 2023

McIlroy wins Dubai Desert Classic for second time

Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland plays a shot during the final round of the 2015 Omega Dubai Desert Classic on February 1, 2015 in Dubai, UAE. (AFP)

By Agencies

World number one Rory McIlroy matched the lowest winning score in the history of the Dubai Desert Classic, winning the tournament for the second time in his career Sunday with a final-round two-under par 70.

At the Majlis course of Emirates Golf Club, McIlroy's 70 was his worst round in the four days, but that was enough to win the Northern Irishman his 10th European Tour title, and a 16th tournament worldwide.

It was his fourth win in his last seven starts on the European Tour. The other three finishes have been second place.

McIlroy tallied 22-under par 266, matching the four-day efforts of Thomas Bjorn in beating Tiger Woods in 2001 and Stephen Gallacher in 2013.

Starting the day four shots ahead, McIlroy finally won by three shots over Sweden's Alexander Noren (65), who is playing on a medical exemption after missing most of the 2014 season.

The victory is expected to take McIlroy to 11.66 points on top of the world rankings, and would extend his lead over second-placed Henrik Stenson by almost four average points.

Gallacher made a good defence of his title, eventually finishing third at 16-under par, while there was a five-way tie for fourth place at 273, including world number 12 Martin Kaymer of Germany and France's Gary Stal, the man who took full advantage of Kaymer's final round collapse in Abu Dhabi two weeks earlier.

Leading final-round scores in the $2.5million Dubai Desert Classic on Sunday at the par-72 Majlis course of Emirates Golf Club:

266 - Rory McIlroy (NIR) 66-64-66-70
269 - Alex Noren (SWE) 68-67-69-65
272 - Stephen Gallacher (SCO) 66-67-70-69
273 - Martin Kaymer (GER) 67-69-73-64, Gary Stal (FRA) 69-69-67-68, Andy Sulliavan (ENG) 65-68-70-70, Bernd Wiesberger (AUT) 64-69-70-70, Morten Orum Madsen (DEN) 71-63-66-73
274 - Thomas Aiken (RSA) 68-71-66-69, Graeme McDowell (NIR) 67-65-72-70, Robert Rock (ENG) 68-67-69-70, Lee Westwood (ENG) 65-68-69-72
275 - Gregory Bourdy (FRA) 69-71-69-66, Henrik Stenson (SWE) 70-66-70-69, Byeong-hun An (KOR) 70-70-66-69, Renato Paratore (ITA) 68-66-70-71, Peter Uihlein (USA) 65-69-70-71, Marc Warren (SCO) 66-65-73-71, Danny Willett (ENG) 67-66-70-72
276 - Alvaro Quiros (ESP) 73-69-70-64, Ross Fisher (ENG) 71-68-71-66, Gregory Havret (FRA) 68-71-70-67, Pablo Larrazabal (ESP) 69-66-69-72, Emiliano Grillo (ARG) 67-68-69-72
277 - David Howell (ENG) 71-69-69-68, Richard Green (AUS) 70-68-70-69
278 - Raphael Jacquelin (FRA) 71-71-67-69, David Lipsky (USA) 68-71-68-71
279 - Alexander Levy (FRA) 72-68-70-69, Dawie van der Walt (RSA) 69-73-66-71, Paul Lawrie (SCO) 69-71-66-73
280 - Anders Hansen (DEN) 66-72-71-71, Jordi Garcia Pinto (ESP) 70-66-72-72, Maximillian Kieffer (GER) 66-68-73-73, Nicolas Colsaerts (BEL) 65-74-67-74