Nov 21st, 2021
McIlroy nudges ahead in Dubai
After another dramatic finish at the DP World Tour Championship
Photography: Getty Images
The four-time Major Champion, who is aiming to become the first three-time winner of the event, dropped a shot on the first but then rattled off six birdies in the next twelve holes to return to the top of the leaderboard in the final Rolex Series event of 2021.
McIlroy had been on course for a wire-to-wire victory until a double bogey finish to his second round when he found water on the 18th. This time it was the hazard on the par three 17th which threatened to halt his progress, but his tee shot eventually teetered on the rocks and he produced a remarkable pitch from there to the edge of the green, before shaving the hole with his first putt and emerging with only a bogey.
He then made amends for his seven the previous day on the 18th hole, holing a ten foot birdie putt to move to fourteen-under-par, one clear of Englishman Sam Horsfield, who signed for a round of 69. Horsfield made his move on the back nine when he followed an eagle on the 14th with back-to-back birdies on the 15th and 16th, but he dropped a shot on the last after finding the fairway bunker to finish on thirteen-under-par.
“I'm looking forward to it. I'm right where I want to be. I want to be contending on Sundays in golf tournaments and feel like I'm back to playing the way I should and the way that will get me back contending. I'm excited. I'm excited to go out there and try to pick up another one," said McIlroy.
MacIntyre shares third position with Sweden’s Alexander Björk, who posted a round of 69, while Open Champion Collin Morikawa consolidated his grip on the Race to Dubai title with a round of 69 to share fifth position on eleven-under-par with compatriot John Catlin (71), Denmark’s Joachim B Hansen (68) and Ireland’s Shane Lowry (71).
Morikawa remains ahead of all five of the players who could potentially deny him the chance to become the first American to win the Race to Dubai, with Matt Fitzpatrick (tied 13th) and Tyrrell Hatton and Paul Casey (tied 17th) the best placed of that quintet.