Rory McIlroy (Northern Ireland), the world’s No. 1 in men’s golf, won the first tournament of the new year with a birdie on the last hole.
McIlroy scored 4 strokes with 5 birdies and 1 bogey in the final round of the DP World Tour (European Tour) Hero Dubai Desert Classic (total prize money: $9 million) held at the Emirates GC (par 72) in Dubai, UAE on the 30th. He reduced and recorded a total of 19 under par 269 strokes, beating Patrick Reed (18 under par 270 strokes, USA) by one stroke, who had been chasing after by reducing 7 strokes that day. In the 18th hole (par 5), which was tied with Reed, it was decisive to put a birdie putt of about 3m.
McIlroy won the US Professional Golf (PGA) Tour Playoff Final Tour Championship (September) last year and The CJ Cup (October), the first tournament of the 2022-2023 season, and then reached the top in the first tournament this year, winning 153 prize money. It won $10,000 (approximately 1.87 billion won). McIlroy, who won 23 victories on the PGA Tour, won 15 victories on the European Tour (4 major wins and 7 wins, including the World Golf Championship, overlapping). It was the first time McIlroy, who made his professional debut in 2009, had won his New Year’s Day event.
His joy was even greater because he won the thrilling victory after a great match with Patrick Reed, the enemy who caused the ‘T-gate’ conflict in this tournament. McIlroy was offended when he received a court summons from Patrick Reed’s attorney on Christmas Eve last year, and caused a stir when he ignored Reed as he approached to greet him on the practice range before the tournament. As Reed turned around, it was known that he threw a tee in his pocket at McIlroy, and the conflict between the two rose to a cubic level with ‘T-gate’.
In addition, in the third round of the previous day, after Reed’s tee shot landed on a tree, the referee checked the ball through a telescope and doubted the authenticity of the ball over the situation in which Reed benefited. Fans called it ‘Tree Gate’.
After the second half, it was a great game with four joint-leaders, reversals, and reversals. McIlroy, who started with a solo lead by 3 strokes, repeated his par march and finally caught his first birdie in the 9th hole (par 4). Reed, who started in a tie for 4th place, 4 strokes behind the lead, cut 3 strokes in the first half and pursued McIlroy to the bottom of the chin, and caught an eagle that almost became an albatross in the 10th hole (par 5) and rose to the joint lead at once.
From this point on, a breathtaking match between the two unfolded. McIlroy took the lead again with a birdie on the 10th hole, but Reed made his second joint lead with a birdie on the 11th hole (par 3). Reed’s come-from-behind victory seemed to be complete when McIlroy sent his tee shot to the rough on the 15th hole (par 3) and recorded his first bogey, going down to 2nd place by 1 stroke. However, Reed also made a first bogey on the 16th hole (par 4) and was balanced again, and McIlroy succeeded in reversing with a birdie putt leading by one stroke on the 17th hole (par 4).
As the lead of the previous group caught a birdie first on the 18th hole and finished, McIlroy also needed a birdie. In this two-on hole, McIlroy avoided a crisis where his tee shot almost fell into the pond on the right side of the fairway, and then chose to cut it off on the 3rd in the rough, and eventually put a 3m birdie putt and smiled brightly in victory. 토토사이트
After looking back, saying, “Today was a very difficult day mentally,” McIlroy said, “I fell into the water on the 18th hole on the last day of last year, and I fell into the water yesterday, so I made a different choice this time. It was a strategic choice,” he said.