| 17.8°C Dublin

Rory McIlroy targets delight in Dubai

Close

Rory McIlroy recorded the first tournament hole in one of his professional career on the par-three 15th (AP)

Rory McIlroy recorded the first tournament hole in one of his professional career on the par-three 15th (AP)

Rory McIlroy recorded the first tournament hole in one of his professional career on the par-three 15th (AP)

WORLD number one Rory McIlroy is this week looking to replicate his first ever win as a professional at the Omega Dubai Desert Classic.

Round one teed off at the Emirates Golf Club today, when Henrik Stenson, Sergio Garcia and Martin Kaymer will be amongst those plotting to block the 25-year-old's path to glory.

McIlroy's win in Dubai six years ago was his first as a professional and, having secured four consecutive top-10 finishes there since then, is looking to capture the Coffee Pot Trophy once more.

"It has been (a happy hunting ground) in the past," said the four-time Major winner.

CHANCE

"I've had one win here at the Emirates, but it seems every time I come here I have a chance and I play well.

"It's a great way to start the season. I've done this the last few years, where I've played Abu Dhabi, taken another week off to practice and then come here and played in Dubai.

"I've got four days to try and get back on the victory trail and it feels like a long time since my last win, so it would be nice to get another one pretty soon and start the year off with a victory under my belt.

"I'm disappointed if I don't win to be honest, but I think everyone should feel that way, I don't think that's just me. You come here to try to win events - you're not here to try to finish in the top five.

"I'm very happy with where my game is tee to green, and I have put some good work in over the last week on my short game, which I felt needed a little bit of sharpening up from Abu Dhabi; hopefully I can just keep it going."

The Northern Irishman is joined in Dubai by compatriot Graeme McDowell.

The 2010 US Open champion is returning to Dubai for the first in five years, describing the venue as "a perfect place to start the year".

"It's my first start of the year and I'm looking forward to it," McDowell said. "It's just a great place to come and start the season.

"I guess my thinking was sunshine and a perfect golf course would be the reasons for being out here, and I've been certainly been rewarded with both this week.

"The golf course is in phenomenal condition and I'm looking forward to the year.

"I'm feeling fresh and things are certainly good in my life off the golf course, which I feel is giving me the mental space and mental energy to remotivate and refocus myself on my game and certainly concentrate on the next four or five years and trying to be the best I can be."


Privacy