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Golf Today > Tour Schedules > 2009 > European Tour > Dubai Desert Classic > Round 4


Rory McIlroy holds on to claim maiden victory

Teenager Rory McIlroy held his nerve in an up-and-down final round to win the Dubai Desert Classic by one shot on Sunday, sealing his first European Tour victory.

The 19-year-old from Northern Ireland closed with a two-under-par 70 for a total of 19-under-par 269, one shot ahead of Briton Justin Rose and two above Sweden’s Henrik Stenson.

McIlroy, after reeling off five birdies in a row from the ninth, dropped three shots in three holes to allow Rose to close to within one shot heading to the final tee.

Rose narrowly missed his 12-foot birdie putt on the last green and McIlroy saved a par to seal the title after hitting his third shot into a bunker.

“This is my first win, and it was really hard. It has taken monkey off my back, having lost in playoffs (in Hong Kong and Switzerland),” McIlroy told reporters.

“I got myself into a great position at the middle of the back nine, let a few shots slip when Justin birdied a couple of them. I fought back and it is nice to hold it together on the last with a great up-and-down for the victory.

“I went to the 18th tee, knowing I still had a one-shot lead and Justin needed to birdie it. I hit a perfect lay-up shot and it was just a little bit of adrenaline, my hands got into it and I flipped my third shot into the bunker.

“It was tricky up and down and I took a few deep breaths and composed myself. It was probably one of the best bunker shots I have ever played. To knock the putt in was just great.”

McIlroy played eight holes early in the morning to complete his third round 67 at an event where the first two days had been disrupted by fog.


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