Rory makes it look easy in Dubai win
Rory McIlroy continued his hot start to 2015 on Sunday, taking the Omega Dubai Desert Classic with a final score of 22-under par.
That’s how you build a lead heading into Sunday. As Kyle Porter mentioned in his recap for CBS, Alex Noren, who finished as the runner-up had this to say about Rory: “I never even thought of winning; he’s playing so good.”
There really isn’t much more you can say than that, right? A final round 70 was all that was needed to win in Dubai by three.
- 1. Rory McIlroy -22
- 2. Alex Noren -19
- 3. Stephen Gallacher -16
- T4. Martin Kaymer -15
- T4. Gary Stal -15
- T4. Bernd Wiesberger -15
- T4. Morten Orum Madsen -15
- T4. Andy Sullivan -15
What The Win Means For McIlroy (and golf)
When we last saw Rory, he finished solo second in Abu Dhabi to Gary Stal, and his quote after the second round when he was asked about where his game was, while being firmly inside the top-10, evoked Phil and Tiger levels of confidence:
“It’s good enough to get into contention here. It’s maybe 80 to 85 percent.”
I assume he’s feeling slightly better about his game now. When I get to this point in these recaps, I’m usually talking about player exemptions and OWGR movement, but that clearly doesn’t apply to Rory, who is so far ahead of the game right now that it’s actually difficult to believe that he won’t win a tournament when he tees it up. The comparisons to Tiger are inevitable, and while I always think that those are incredibly unfair to anyone because of the sheer dominance that Tiger had over the sport, we haven’t seen anyone who so clearly showed this kind of gap between himself and the rest since then, and it’s starting to feel like Rory can just turn it on whenever he pleases. He makes greatness look so effortless and it really is a joy to watch.
In the overall, it’s great for golf but not so good for the other players who now could be thinking that they’re all fighting for second when Rory’s in the field.
These recoveries out of some tough spots by Graeme McDowell and Noren were pretty impressive.
European Tour veterans Henrik Stenson and Thomas Bjorn were both a little upset here.
I don’t have any video of it, but there was a point in the first round after he grabbed the lead that Lee Westwood joined the booth and did commentary for a little while. Unsurprisingly, he was really, really good and when he decides to retire, he’s definitely got a job waiting for him somewhere.
- Notables to miss the cut: Rafa Cabrera-Bello, Eddie Pepperell, Thomas Bjorn, Darren Clarke, Thorbjorn Olesen, George Coetzee, Sergio Garcia, Matthew Fitzpatrick and Matteo Manassero.
- Other notable finishes: Graeme McDowell and Lee Westwood (T9), Henrik Stenson and Peter Uihlein (T13), Pablo Larrazabal (T20), Alexander Levy (T29), Nicolas Colsaerts (T32), Thongchai Jaidee (T35), Joost Luiten (T47), Ernie Els and Branden Grace (T55).
- Nice to see Noren get back into the hunt. He looked like a player to watch a few years ago but has ran into some ugly health concerns in recent years, so hopefully he’s past them and is able to get back on track.
- Can we assume Gary Stal is here to stay?
- I don’t know what’s going on with Manassero, but a player with his talent shouldn’t be struggling the way he is. He has just three top-10 finishes since his last win at the BMW PGA back in May of 2013. I’m a big fan of his game, but this isn’t good.
- On the other hand, Manassero has been mentoring another young Italian player in Renato Paratore, who finished tied for 13th this week thanks in large part to his sheer length from the tee. At one point in the week, the 18-year old Paratore was only behind Nicolas Colsaerts in driving distance, which is the complete polar opposite of Manassero, who I’m pretty sure Rory could outdrive by hitting left handed.
The European Tour heads to Malaysia next week where Lee Westwood is set to defend his title against a decent field that includes Graeme McDowell and Miguel Angel Jimenez.