January 2024 - Celebration Issue

JANUARY 26, 2024 T he Dubai Desert Classic has been a mainstay of the European Tour and now the DP World Tour since the inaugural event in 1989 at the majestic Dubai Creek. It is one of the most prestigious events in the world, attracting players from all over the world. Being the first Rolex event of the season, it commands a $9 million prize fund with the winner taking home just over $1.5 million.

Hero Dubai Desert Classic 2024:

Rory McIlroy Wins 4th Title

Story by Colin White Photographs by Alexi Van Damme

T he location in recent years has been the stunning Majilis Course at the Emirates Golf Club. Designed by renowned architect, Karl Litten, the course has been sculpted through the dunes with breath taking views of the iconic sky line. A series of dog legs both left

local favourite Tommy Fleetwood and the Hojaard twins, Rasmus and Nicolai. A surprise early leader during round two was Englishman Andy Sullivan who at one point had a 3

Sadly for the Englishman, what can only be described as a complete collapse followed with rounds of 78 and 80 over the weekend resulting in a tie for 66th place. In stark contrast to Sullivan’s opening two rounds, Northern Ireland’s McIlroy struggled with rounds of 71 and 70, just

and right during the course of the round put a premium on the tee shots and being able to find the narrow fairways. This year the greens were pretty much solid so hitting fairways was the only way the players would be able to control their approach shots to stay on the greens. A host of

making the cut with a couple of late birdies in round 2. A stunning round of 63 catapulted McIlroy up the leaderboard in round 3 and he found himself in second place and secured a spot in the final group for Sunday alongside Young who by this

T he final day never really got going for most of the players with windy conditions and pin positions that were barely legal saw many struggle. A swift front 9 of 32 for McIlroy moved him into a 3 shot lead over Young at the turn who struggled with two bogies and 7 pars for 37. Perhaps the turning point for him was a missed two foot putt for birdie on the 3rd hole which seemed to rattle the 26 year old American. As a 3 time winner at the

Dubai Desert Classic it was hard to see past another victory for the Northern Irishman with his commanding lead going into the back 9. A mediocre back 9 of +1 was enough for Rory to secure his fourth Dubai Desert Classic title. Poland’s Meronk birdied 18 to finish in second place alone, while Cam Young signed for 74 and finished 3rd on his first appearance in Dubai. A well deserved victory for

McIlroy, considering at one point he was looking like missing the cut. Dubai is a place close to McIlroy’s heart as he spends many weeks of the year in this golfing paradise, so it is no surprise he is a regular contender in the Desert Classic. Let’s see what 2024 will hold as talks of mergers between the Saudi backed LIV Tour with the PGA Tour and DP World Tour are still ongoing, perhaps we might even see McIlroy as a LIV player later this year.

superstars from both the DP World Tour and PGA TOur were at the event this year with players such as Rory McIlroy, Adam Scott, Tyrrell Haton, Cameron Young, Joaquin Niemann,

shot lead as he completed back to back 67’s to lie at -10. A fast finishing Cameron Young finished birdie, birdie, eagle for 64 and to open up a 3 shot lead over the Englishman.

time had a two shot advantage. The only other real contender at this point was Pland’s Adrian Meronk who was in third place, one shot behind Rory and 3 ahead of a chasing pack.




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