Author of the best card of the day (65), Rory McIlroy took alone control of the Hero Dubai Desert Classic and will try Monday to win his first career Rolex Series. At the end of his third round, the world number 1 returned with lucidity to his fantastic day on Sunday, which began with 4 birdies and ended with an ugly bogey at 18.
Rory McIlroy, statements
“I don’t have everything under control yet, but I play very efficient golf, taking advantage of my good shots and limiting the breakage when I don’t hit a very good shot here or there. I dropped a few drives, I missed a few iron shots too but I managed well.
This is in line with the progress made in this area at the end of last year and which allowed me to be very consistent. The goal is not to make a costly mistake and even though I conceded a bogey on the 18th, I’m happy with my other 17 holes.
My 2nd shot at 18 is a bit like last year during the last round. I was not an obvious distance, I tried a high cut ball and in the end, it was a bad decision on my part. I have won twice here. I love this course and I really want to win my first tournament of the year, which I have never done before.
A first tournament is also used precisely to identify what we have to work on and yesterday, at the practice, I worked to find better sensations and even if it was not seen much in the statistics, I feel much better than in the first two rounds”.
Rory was born in Holywood, Northern Ireland where he attended Sullivan Upper School. He belongs to the Holywood Golf Club, where he began his first training sessions followed by Michael Bannon, a coach he has maintained to this day.
McIlroy was part of the Junior Ryder Cup winning team in 2004, while in 2005 he became the youngest winner of both All-Ireland tournaments, the West of Ireland Championship and the Irish Close Championship. Also in 2005, at the North of Ireland Championship, held at The Royal Portrush, he broke the course record with a 61 at the age of 16, a record still unbeaten in 2019 at The Open Championship, held at The Royal Portrush .
In August 2006 he won the stage played at the Le Betulle Golf Club in Biella, Piedmont, of the European Amateur Championship with a score of 274 strokes (65-69-72-68), 3 less than the Englishman Lewton Stephen. In October 2006 he represented Ireland in the Eisenhower Trophy and the Amateur World Team Championship.
On February 6, 2007, he became the second man to lead the World Amateur Golf Rankings, although he lost the lead after just one week. McIlroy had an opening round of 68 strokes, 3-under par, at the Open Championship at Carnoustie in 2007, which moved him to provisional third place, three strokes off the leader.
In the same opening round he was also the only player on the court to finish without even a bogey. In the second round he shot 5 over par bringing him to +2 overall, however gaining access to the third round by overcoming the cut.
In the third round he closed with 2 strokes over par, while in the fourth with 1 stroke more than par, finishing in 42nd place, the best of amateurs. McIlroy was part of the Great Britain & Ireland squad at the 2007 Walker Cup.
His first appearance on the European Tour was at the 2005 British Masters, just days after he turned sixteen. He first cleared the cut on a European Tour at the age of seventeen, at the 2007 Dubai Desert Classic, where he also had to forfeit the €7,600 prize due to his amateur status.
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