News All Articles
Rory McIlroy feeling good after Dubai near-miss

Rory McIlroy feeling good after Dubai near-miss

Rory McIlroy was finding the positives after narrowly missing out on opening his 2024 season with a victory at the Dubai Invitational.

The World Number Two started day four at Dubai Creek Resort one shot behind Tommy Fleetwood and the duo would put on an enthralling show with the help of Thriston Lawrence.

While South African Lawrence surged through the field and Fleetwood was a picture of consistency, McIlroy was three off the lead after ten holes, partly due to a bogey after finding the water at the sixth.

A hat-trick of gains from the 11th catapulted him back up the leaderboard and while he three-putted the 14th from inside three feet, he was part of a three-way tie for the lead playing the 16th.

That was a one-shot advantage as he stood on the final tee but McIlroy found the water and a Fleetwood birdie handed the Englishman the win at 19 under, with McIlroy finishing one back alongside Lawrence.

There was no disappointment on McIlroy's part, however, and the four-time Major Champion will head across the Emirate to defend his Hero Dubai Desert Classic title next week in high spirits.

"I think for the first week back out, it was a really positive," he said.

"Looking back on today: a tee-shot in the water with an iron on the front nine, had that three-putt from three feet on the par three and then the water ball on the last.

"I think first week back out, I think you're going to expect some of those sloppy mistakes and unfortunately for me those mistakes came at the wrong time today.

"But I'll reflect on it and learn from today and there's still a lot of good stuff in there. I just need to tidy up some of the edges, and if I do that, I feel good going into next week."

McIlroy and Fleetwood’s “Fleetwood Mac” Ryder Cup partnership claimed two points from two in the foursomes in Rome last year as Europe beat the United States 16.5-11.5, and the Northern Irishman was delighted to see his team-mate claim a first win since the 2022 Nedbank Golf Challenge.

"I'm really happy for Tommy," he said. "He's played some incredible golf over the last year without actually getting a win.

"So for him to get the win here, it's great for him and it will do his confidence a world of good and hopefully he kicks on from it.

"It was a good battle out there and hopefully I have many more with him this year and for the years ahead."

Read next