Rolex Series

McIlroy denied again after starring in Abu Dhabi

Rory McIlroy added to his remarkable record at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship but was once again denied the Falcon Trophy as Tyrrell Hatton put on a masterclass in the desert.

Rory McIlroy

The four time Major Championship winner arrived at Abu Dhabi Golf Club having finished second at this event four times, with a further three third place finishes from his ten appearances.

For a long time it looked like it may be 11th time lucky as McIlroy opened with a 64, took a one shot lead into the final round and extended that to two after birdies on the second and third.

Hatton was relentless, however, and while McIlroy signed for a closing 72, the Englishman stormed to a 66 and a four shot victory, leaving the former World Number One waiting for a first Rolex Series win after another top three in Abu Dhabi.

"I don't feel like I played great this week," said McIlroy. "Felt like I was managing my game a bit. Nice to get a competitive week under my belt and see where my game is and what I need to do to keep on improving.

"I thought for the most part of the week, my short game and my putting was good. I scrambled well. Had some pretty good approach shots, especially last night coming down the last few holes. 

"I thought there was parts of rounds where I got the driver going, even the last few holes this evening there I got the driver going a little bit.

"But still, sometimes I'll have a few holes where it's like that and there's a few holes where it sort of gets away from me. So a little more consistency and being able to replicate the good ones hole after hole and then day after day until you sort of put four rounds together."

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