McIlroy Cruises To Second Win At Omega Dubai Desert Classic

Rory ODDC

A sublime Rory McIlroy showed great strength of character in getting the job done in superb fashion as the world number one inscribed his name of the iconic Silver Coffee Pot for the second time when he won the Omega Dubai Desert Classic at Emirates Golf Club on Sunday.

Starting the final round with a healthy four-shot cushion, McIlroy closed with a two-under par 70 to win by three shots on a tournament record-equalling 22 under par and join Thomas Bjørn and Stephen Gallacher in an exclusive club who had previously won with such a low total.

"I stuck to my game plan of keeping the ball in play. I did what I needed to go. It wasn't the best round of the year, but I got the job done - and that's the most important thing," said McIlroy after receiving the winners' trophy and a winner's cheque for US$441,660 (Dh1.62 million) from Shaikh Mansoor bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.

Shaikh Fahim bin Sultan Qasimi, president of the Arab Golf Federation, and Mohamed Juma Buamaim, vice chairman and CEO of golf in DUBAi, were also present.

For McIlroy, who won of the Omega Dubai Desert Classic in 2009 for his maiden professional title, it was his first victory in 25 weeks, but his last six European Tour starts have yielded three wins - two of them Majors - and three seconds.

"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," said the four-time Major winner, who now boasts 10 wins on the European Tour.

Sweden's Alex Noren shot a final round 65 to finish second on 19 under par and three clear of double defending champion Stephen Gallacher of Scotland, who posted a 69 for a 16-under-par total. For Noren, who missed almost all of 204 with tendonitis in both wrists it was his best result on the European Tour since 2011.

"It was an amazing day, an amazing week," said the 32-year-old after carding eight birdies against a single bogey. "I missed it so much - feeling my pulse and some nervousness, it's really nice.

"I never even thought of winning; he's playing so good. I was just trying to get a nice finish in, keep making birdies and try to stay up with the other guys.

"I was pretty unsure even two months ago if I was going to play again this early - it's tough when you don't know if the hand is holding up, and that's been a little bit of a problem, but it turned out better than I thought."

Denmark's Morten Ørum Madsen, four behind at the start, faded out of contention after running a triple bogey on the first when he found the same bunker twice and it was left to former World Number One Lee Westwood to apply some pressure to McIlroy and did when birdied three of the first five holes to get within four shots of the leader.

However, Westwood double bogeyed the ninth for the second day running after finding the water, eventually finishing with a level par 72 to end the week in a tie for ninth.

There was nobody seriously looked like threatening McIlroy, who proceeded to play it safe over the closing stretch, finding fairways and greens at will as he parred his way in.

With this comfortable victory, McIlroy has extended his incredible record in the Omega Dubai Desert Classic. His last six results reads as: first in 2009, sixth in 2010, tenth in 2011, fifth in 2012, ninth in 2014 and first in 2015.