Rory McIlroy Holds Off Patrick Reed To Win Dubai Desert Classic

Rory McIlroy Holds Off Patrick Reed To Win Dubai Desert Classic

Rory McIlroy shagged on the 72nd hole to beat Patrick Reed in a single shot at the Dubai Desert Classic to win his 15th DP World Tour title.

The world No. 1 paced the last hole from 92 yards to capture the legendary pitcher for the third time in his career and celebrate victory for the first time in his first start in a calendar year.

After taking a three-shot lead on Monday’s final round, he carded three-under-par 69s to finish 19-under with rounds of 66, 70 and 65 earlier in the week.

Rory McIlroy’s CLUTCH wins the Dubai Desert Classic 🏆 January 30, 2023

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Reed stormed to the top of the leaderboard with five birdies and an eagle in his first 13 holes midway through the back nine, but a bogey on the 16th hole sent him falling behind with Rory McIlroy after he was forced to blurt out of a drawn tee shot the left.

That brought him back to 17 under par, and he failed to capitalize on the drivable 17 after an erratic drive and eventually held a good par.

McIlroy started with eight consecutive pars before three birdies within five holes between the 9th and 13th holes. He dropped a shot on the par 3 15th but charged forward again after his drive found the edge of the 17th and made two putts for a birdie to set the legendary par 5 18th one to make clear to play.

Playing in the group in front of him, Reed found the green in two with a stunning hybrid that towered over the flag to leave about 30 feet for Eagle. From there, he double-putted for the easiest birdie to card a 65 and force McIlroy to make a four to win.

McIlroy’s drive licked right into the rough, only to skirt the water to leave an awkward second shot, and from there he laid up for 92 yards and wedged it to about 15 feet before making a slippery left-to-right Throw in for the title.

With his 15th DP World Tour title and first Rolex Series win, McIlroy wins a $1.53 million check and cements his position at the top of the official golf world rankings.

Action for the first week in Dubai was dotted with talk and controversy surrounding Patrick Reed and Rory McIlroy’s ‘switch’ on the driving range, where McIlroy appeared to ignore Reed before the American flicked a LIV Golf tee to the ground. McIlroy, referred to as “Teegate”, said he ignored Reed due to the LIV summons he received on Christmas Eve, with Reed saying the Northern Irishman acted like “an immature little child”.

Reed was embroiled in further controversy in the third round on Sunday when his golf ball caught in a palm tree on the 17th hole. Reed and a referee were able to identify it, although there were reports that he was looking for the wrong tree. The 2018 Masters champion claimed he was “100%” certain it was his ball, with tournament officials saying in a statement that the referee was “pleased” with the decision.

“Using binoculars, the chief referee was convinced that a ball with these markings was stuck in the tree,” the statement said.

DUBAI DESERT CLASSIC LEADERBOARD:1. Rory McIlroy-192. Patrick Reed-183. Lucas Herbert -164. Callum Shinkwin-155. Julien Brun -14T6. Thomas Pieters-13T6. Ian Poulter-13T8. Henrik Stenson-12T8. Johannes Veerman -12T8. Marcus Kinhult-12T8. Richard Bland-12T8. Angel Higaldo -12

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