Rory McIlroy and Shane Lowry got their first look on Monday at a slightly less tree-lined Earth host course, host venue for this week’s DP World Tour Championship in Dubai.
The Irish duo were the only players out early on a very hot Dubai Monday morning after jetting-in the day prior from their respective Bears Club estate residences in Florida ahead of playing just nine holes and heading for pre-noon lunch in the comfort of the air-conditioned clubhouse.
McIlroy is lying No. 1 both on the Official World Rankings and also top of the DP World rankings with one event remaining this week on the DP World Tour schedule.
And aside from a third DP World Tour trophy, McIlroy looks also to join Henrik Stenson as the only player to win both the PGA No. 1 and corresponding DP World No. 1 titles in the same year.
Given the intense near 33 degrees celsius heat, McIlroy worked post lunch just on his putting and bunker play, under the watchful eye of long-term coach Michael Bannon and his father, Gerry who was looking on.
Lowry, in his black shirt and shorts, headed for the range working alongside Vicktor Hovland, with the Norwegian advising Lowry the reason why he did not have his regular golf bag as his own clubs went missing on his flight from the US to the UAE, and for the third occasion this year.
After about an hour working with coach, Neil Manchip, Lowry was whisked away and about to spend a further two hours under the blazing sun joining Hovland and Tyrrell Hatton at the 14th hole of the adjoining Fire course filming the newest DP World Tour’s social media challenge.
It was then at close to 4pm local time in heading back to the clubhouse to cool down and then return to their hotels.