McIlroy hits record-equaling score to win second Dubai title

Sun Feb 1, 2015 10:15am EST
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DUBAI (Reuters) - World number one Rory McIlroy coasted home to capture a second Dubai Desert Classic title on Sunday, winning by three shots and finishing on a tournament record equaling 22-under-par.

The four-time major winner shot a final round 70 to claim his 10th European Tour success.

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.

McIlroy’s victory ended a run of three straight second place finishes, stretching back to last year.

“It’s been a fantastic week for everyone who played here this week and it’s just nice to get my name on that trophy again,” said McIlroy.

“So I am very delighted because I was feeling like I was playing for second every time I was teeing it up, so it was time for a change and the only way I wanted to go was one better and thankfully I was able to do that today."

McIlroy went into the last round of his second event of the year leading by four shots at 20-under-par, but it was a slow start for the 25-year-old, who was level par after nine holes with a third hole birdie and a bogey at seven.

McIlroy then went five clear of his rivals with a birdie at 10 and another on 13.

He then ended with five straight pars and missed a 20-foot birdie putt at the last that would have seen him card a 23-under-par tournament record.   Continued...

Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland tees off on the sixth hole during the final round of the Dubai Desert Classic February 1, 2015. REUTERS/Fadi Al-Assaad