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A perfect 10 for Rory McIlroy as he adds Dubai Desert Classic crown to collection

posted on 02/02/2015: 1594 views

Judging by his career to date, it is safe to assume that Rory McIlroy is a bit of a -perfectionist.

World No 1, double Race to Dubai champion, four-time major winner, all at the age of 25; he clearly is a pedant for precision.

So it was nice that Sunday's victory at the Omega Dubai Desert Classic – his second at Emirates Golf Club – lifted his European Tour tally to a nice, round 10.

Even better, since another giant coffee pot trophy means life away from the course is a little more in balance, too.

"I do have one, yeah,” McIlroy said. "It was actually my mother kept going on and on at the organisers about not sending the full-sized replica, so they ended up giving me one a couple of years ago.

"It sits on my fireplace at home, so hopefully I can get another one. It'd be a nice symmetry on either side.”

His victory, by three shots from Alex Noren, definitely had a certain regularity about it.

In establishing a four-stroke overnight lead and never relinquishing the advantage, McIlroy took his recent record to a barely believable four titles in his past seven appearances on Europe's main circuit.

The other three were not too bad, either, given he finished runner-up in each. Such has been his dominance since last May's BMW PGA Championship, that McIlroy appeared slightly subdued following his second Desert Classic crown.

Perhaps it was to do with his final score of 22-under, which meant he missed out by one on a new record for the tournament total.

Or maybe it was simply that he had to stick to a game plan, prioritise minimising mistakes and never loosen the leash.

It can be tough for someone who usually enjoys throwing darts at pins.

"I did what I needed to do,” McIlroy said, having signed for a two-under-par 70. "I got the job done, that's the most important thing.”

McIlroy had come close already this season, but two weeks ago finished one shot off the pace in Abu Dhabi.

It had become a recurring theme since his most recent victory – the PGA Championship in August – so he was glad to have got that monkey off his back.

"I sat here in front of you guys on Wednesday saying I didn't want to finish second anymore,” he said. "It's nice to get the victory and back up what I say with my performance on the course.”

He can just let his game do the talking, which is ominous for his rivals, especially if he takes his form across the Atlantic as the build-up to April's Masters begins in earnest.

"It's definitely the most consistent I've played,” McIlroy said. "But am I at the peak of my powers? I'd like to think I could still get better.” Cue collective gulp from his peers.

McIlroy could be forgiven for getting distracted these next few weeks, as he moves from Dubai to Dublin to embark on a court case with his former management company. Asked if that occupied his thoughts, he preferred to stay in the moment.

"Let me enjoy this for an hour or two, first,” he said.

Return to competitive action at the Honda Classic in this sort of nick and he will surely have much more to savour.

McIlroy arrives in Palm Beach for the February 26 event as the man everyone needs to beat, but that does not faze him.

"I feel I'm at a place now that, if I turn up with a game that I know that I have, I'll have a decent chance,” he said. "It's not like I'm out there trying to send any sort of message to people, but I guess if they are going to beat me, they're going to have to play well.” – The National -


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