19-year old Rory McIlroy has promised much since turning professional and joining the European Tour two seasons ago in 2007. But hitherto, McIlroy had played some great tournaments but ultimately failed to win any titles. It seemed the young golfer from Northern Ireland was affected by nerves when trying to hold on to a lead or battling it out in a high profile play-off.
But yesterday Rory McIlroy won the Dubai Desert Classic, but only just. At one point on the final day it looked like he was going to throw it away again. McIlroy had led from the first day, and on the final round, with six holes to play was leading by six shots. But Justin Rose made a last minute surge with three bogeys, and finished in second place just one shot off the lead.
Speaking to reporters after the victory Rory McIlroy admitted:
“It has taken monkey off my back, having lost in play-offs … It is nice to hold it together on the last with a great up-and-down for the victory. To beat a field of this quality is very satisfying.”
Rory McIlroy now moves to 14th in the world rankings and is looking forward to a practise round with Tiger Woods at the US Masters.