The mercurial world number one Rory Mcilroy returned to Dubai for the final leg of the Desert Swing. He claimed’The Omega Dubai Desert Classic’ and took the title in calculated and effortless fashion. Not only did he win the event, again, but he also equaled the record lowest score of -22. In fact, he should have beaten the total with a birdie on the 17th after being in prime position on the fairway. Let’s not also forget that in November 2014 he won the Race to Dubai at Jumeirah Golf Estates. So Dubai has become like a home venue for the Irishman, a home from home.
Dubai now has a special place in Rory Mcilroy’s heart and career with Emirates Golf Club being the scene of his first professional win on tour in 2009.
I was there in the crowd that day and what a journey since that win for the Irishman. He reflected on the journey and these points in his pre-event press conference after being asked about coming back to the event where the first one as a pro.
After following Rory for several holes on Saturday and Sunday during the event, I was left in no doubt that when he is in the ‘zone’, he is untouchable.
Maybe not the most amazing statement and probably many of you have said the same thing watching on your TV’s in previous tournaments.
For me, this is even more convincing when you witness this in person, close up. Watching the other players in the leading pack in the field struggling to make an impact on his score. Plus watching his playing partners wilting at the relentless pounding of great shot after great shot.
Of course, there is usually someone who comes along with a great final round to come out of the pack (In the Desert Classic case was Noren). Rory has the ability, like previous greats, to crush the field not just by his scoring, but by his presence which is something very special indeed.
Could this be Masters year for Rory? The pressure will certainly be there but you have to say he is aiming high for this season. We need to make sure we enjoy a legend at his peak.
As I have mentioned many times, the access and visibility at the Golf tournaments in the UAE are superb. You can generally get quite close and see the action unfold like maybe you couldn’t in bigger attended events globally. Something, if you can, you should take up the chance.