McIlroy rues tricky greens as Euro title drought continues

Sun Feb 2, 2014 12:08pm EST
 
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By Matt Smith

DUBAI (Reuters) - Rory McIlroy was left to rue some unreadable greens as his winless streak on the European Tour extended to 15 events following a two-over-par 74 in the final round of the Dubai Desert Classic on Sunday.

The Northern Irishman was the early pacesetter on the Majlis course, a sizzling first round 63 putting him two strokes clear of the field.

But he never recaptured Thursday's sparkle and the 24-year-old entered Sunday's final round two shots adrift of eventual winner Stephen Gallacher.

Gallacher blundered with successive bogeys on the first two holes to put McIlroy ahead, but that lead proved short-lived as the world number six registered four bogeys between the seventh and 13th to slip back into the pack.

"Anything that could go wrong did - okay, I hit a couple of loose drives, but I didn't (get) away with them, stuff like that," McIlroy told reporters.

"I didn't get a couple of putts to go. I was struggling to read them for some reason, so I got (caddy) JP (Fitzgerald) to read them for me on the back nine and holed a couple more.

"When the greens get this firm they change color a little bit and it was very hard to see. Everything I read was straight even though it wasn't - I just couldn't see any movement at all."

McIlroy's winless streak on the European Tour - his last victory was at 2012's DP World Tour Championships in Dubai, although he did triumph at December's Australian Open - would not be troubling for most golfers.   Continued...

 
Tennis star Caroline Wozniacki (L) watches her boyfriend Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland as he tees off on the 16th hole during the final round of the 2014 Omega Dubai Desert Classic in Dubai February 2, 2014. REUTERS/Ahmed Jadallah