Record equalling Rory McIlroy claims Dubai Desert Classic
Rory McIlroy has won the Omega Dubai Desert Classic by three shots after a closing round of 70 saw him finish the tournament on 22 under par.
McIlroy's first ever professional win came at the tournament six years ago and after four consecutive top-10 finishes the Coffee Pot Trophy once again belongs to the 25-year-old.
Rounds of 66, 64 and 66 had given the Northern Irishman a four-shot lead into the final day and although he registered his first bogey since the opening round on Sunday, no one could come close.
A birdie on three got the ball rolling and although he bogeyed the par-four seventh, under-par scores at 10 and 13 extended his advantage.
McIlroy was consistent as he parred the remaining five holes to capture his 10th European Tour win.
Alex Noren, who played just two events in 2014 due to tendinitis in both wrists, finished second after an impressive six-under final round of 65 saw him leap up the leaderboard from eighth to finish on 19 under par.
Stephen Gallacher, who won the tournament both in 2013 and 2014, failed to replicate the form he showed on the first two days.
Gallacher finished with four birdies in the back nine, but dropped shots on the first and 14th meant he finished third on 16 under.
England's Andy Sullivan failed to finish strongly with a bogey on 15 bringing an end to his challenge, while a dropped shot on the last meant he finished in fourth, with a two-under final round of 70.
Martin Kaymer was the day's big mover as he closed with a final-round 64 to jump 30 places and finish level with Sullivan on 15 under par.
France's Gary Stal also finished in fifth after four under on the final day, with Bernd Wiesberger also finishing 15 under.
Morten Orum Madsen, who started the day in second, was left ruing a seven on the opening hole and two dropped shots on the back nine as he finished on 15 under.
Graeme McDowell closed with a 70 to finish 14 under par, good enough for ninth.
His countryman McIlroy never looked like losing control.
He only hit four fairways in regulation on the third day, with his superb play with the putter seeing him through.
And McIlroy needed his hot club to get through the first unscathed after another loose tee shot, while good work in the sand on the third saw him claim his first birdie of the day on three.
The Northern Irishman dropped his first shot in two days on the seventh.
The group behind were closing, with Madsen moving back up the field with three birdies after a disastrous seven on the opening hole, while Noren was also moving up the field after four-under-par scores in the opening seven.
Another sand save from McIlroy, this time on the 10th, saw him pick up another birdie before another poor approach, this time on 12, meant he had to work hard again to save par.
Sullivan birdied 13 and Madsen 14 to keep the pressure on the leader, while Lee Westwood, who began the day in third, was having a nightmare, with a bogey at six, a double bogey at nine and another dropped shot at 12 meaning the end of his challenge. He finished with a level-par 72 to finish ninth.
McIlroy's approach on 13 was far more palatable, as he claimed another birdie to stretch his lead back to five.
Madsen showed his recovery skills after an impressive shot from the bunker on 14 led to a par, but with the holes running out, the Dane was needing to pick up shots quickly.
Noren made birdies at 17 and 18 and a final round of 65 would have been well received after spending so long away from the sport late year.
Madsen bogeyed both 15 and 16 to end his challenge and with McIlroy consistently making pars, the title was his.
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