The records continue to tumble for Rory McIlroy who captured the 35th hosting of the Hero Dubai Desert Classic, making it a record fourth tournament win at the Middle East’s oldest European Tour event.
McIlroy toasted a first success of the New Year by shooting a closing round of 70, good enough to win by a shot at 14-under from Poland’s Adrian Meronk at Emirates Golf Club.
His win after last week’s bitter disappointment in finishing runner-up in the Dubai Invitational, saw McIlroy join Scotland’s Stevie Gallacher as only the second repeat winner in the premier UAE event at the Emirates Club.
Additionally, it is only a second time in his career McIlroy has successfully defended a title having won the CJ Cup on the PGA Tour back-to-back in 2020 and then in 2021, albeit on different courses.
The win is McIlroy’s sixth in Dubai, a 17th DP World Tour title, as well as a 38th victory worldwide.
McIlroy headed into closing day of the the season’s first Rolex Series event trailing two shots behind visiting American Cameron Young, who led at 12-under, and in the end it was McIlroy a two-shot winner to be handed the famed Dallah trophy for a fourth time since his maiden Desert Classic success that was also his maiden career win in 2009.
“It’s really cool. I didn’t think about that during the course of the round. It was a tricky day, it was hard to make a ton of birdies”, said McIlroy.
“The 8th and 9th holes were key to make birdies. I made a blunder on 13th but I steadied the ship well. I held on as best as I could. Thankfully, nobody at the top of the leaderboard made much of a run.
“Played the game long enough to know how these are going to go! Incredible to get my fourth win at the Emirates.
“It’s a great start to the season. It’s a great platform to build from. There’s still a few misses off the tee from the left. It’s great to get the competition and come out on top.”
With his 2024 Hero Dubai Desert Classic Victory: Rory McIlroy’s career in numbers
Pro career win number 38
DP World Tour win number 17
Hero Dubai Desert Classic victories – 4 (Record)
Combined four Hero Dubai Desert Classic winning totals – 74 under par
Prize payout for his four Dubai wins – $3,818,505
Only second player in 35-year of Hero Dubai Desert Classic to win back-to-back (Stevie Gallacher 2013 & ’14)
Victories in Dubai – 6
Reflecting his global status, he’s won in nine different countries on five different continents
Just a second time in his career he’s successfully defended a title after winning the 2021 and ’22 CJ Cup
Only a second victory in the month of January. His best winning month is May – 7 (Has never won in the month of April)
Has now won at least one tournament a year, with exemption of 2017 and 2020 since 2009