It’s all go for January after the R&A and USGA published their finalised Rules of Golf. So what’s coming in? Steve Carroll outlines the changes.
McIlroy cruises to first victory of 2015 in Dubai
World Number One Rory McIlroy returned to the scene of his first European Tour victory and once again walked away with the trophy after a mature display in the Dubai Desert Classic.
The Northern Irishman powered his way into the lead in the second round and took a four shot lead into the final day before closing out a three shot win over Alex Noren.
Taking the lead early in his second round, McIlroy took charge of the field, dropping only two shots over the course of the tournament to claim the title for the second time on -22.
The three shot victory over Swede Noren (-19) was McIlroy’s 10th European Tour title.
"I played a solid round of golf and did what I needed to do to keep my nose in front," McIlroy said.
“It’s nice to be able to put my name on that trophy again."
With Martin Kaymer and Charl Schwartzel both surrendering large leads in previous weeks, McIlroy admitted he too had felt the pressure coming into the final round with such a substantial lead:
“I felt like I was a little tentative the first few holes out there,” he added.
“I guess we’ve seen what can happen to big leads out there the last few weeks and I was conscious of that and making sure that I wasn’t making any mistakes.”
Defending champion Stephen Gallacher put up a gallant defence of this title, finishing -16 for the tournament.
Lee Westwood had offered an early challenge at the start of the day’s play, getting within four shots of McIlroy, but was unable to maintain his efforts and finished tied ninth.
Noren, who had only managed two events with tendonitis in both wrists in 2014, said: “It was an amazing day, an amazing week.
“I missed it so much - feeling my pulse and some nervousness, it's really nice."
US Open champion Martin Kaymer ended strongly carding the lowest round of the day (-8) to finish tied fourth for the tournament alongside Abu Dhabi champion Gary Stal, South African Open champion Andy Sullivan and Austrian Bernd Wiesberger.
What’s in Rory’s Dubai Desert Classic winning bag?
Rory McIlroy put a new Nike Engage wedge into play at the Dubai Desert Classic and sported the new Lunar Control 3 shoes on his way to a comfortable win.
The Northern Irishman and current World Number One showed a level of maturity on his way to his second DDC title, playing it safe in his final round to ensure no slip-ups, coasting to a -22 win a the Emirates Golf Club.
With the new Nike Vapor Pro driver - available to buy now - in the bag, McIlroy led the field in driving distance averaging 317.9 yards.
McIlroy was influential in the development of the Vapor Pro driver which became available on January 31.
The new 59 degree Engage Dual Sole Wedge helped him get through the rough more consistently.
On the body McIlroy sported the Nike Lunar Control 3 - another product he helped inspire, and apparel from Nike’s performance collection.
What's in the bag?
Wedges: VR Forged 46°,54°, Engage 59°
Putter: Method 006
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