Rory McIlroy (Northern Ireland) won the first competition in the new year and kept the world number one.
On the afternoon of the 30th (Korean time), McIlroy won the DP World Tour Hero Dubai Desert Classic (total prize money of 9 million dollars) at the Emirates Golf Club (par 72) in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE) with a total of 19 under par and 269 strokes. This is the third win in this competition after 2009 and 2015. The winning prize is 1,407,598 euros (approximately 1,886 million won).
McIlroy reduced 4 strokes by tying 5 birdies and 1 bogey in the final 4 rounds, and beat Patrick Reed (USA), who had been in a battle of nerves even before the start of the tournament, by 1 stroke. When Reed cut 7 strokes only in the 4th round and pursued, McIlroy won with consecutive birdies on the 17th (par 4) and 18th holes (par 5). In the 18th hole, he succeeded in putting a birdie about 4.5m away and confirmed the thrilling victory.
McIlroy, who kept his pride as a member of the PGA Tour, said, “I thought that emotions caused by someone on the leaderboard could interfere with my performance. It was harder to focus on myself, but that’s why the victory was sweeter,” he admitted, admitting that Reed’s pursuit was nerve-wracking. McIlroy has been active as a representative of the remaining faction of the PGA Tour since the launch of the LIV Golf Invitational sponsored by Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund last year. On the other hand, after joining LIV, Reid has conflicts with the PGA Tour.
After turning pro in 2007, McIlroy lifted the championship trophy for the first time in the first competition of the new year. It is his first win in about three months since The CJ Cup, which was the first PGA Tour event in the 2022-2023 season in October of last year. With this win, McIlroy further solidified his position at the top of the world rankings. Although Reed was runner-up, he raised his ranking from 90th to 57th, saving his hopes of participating in the men’s golf major tournament. 안전놀이터
Among Korean players, Kim Joo-hyung fell one notch from last week to 14th, but rose to the highest rank. Lim Seong-jae, who tied for 4th at the PGA Tour Farmers Insurance Open, which ended on the 29th, is 18th, a step up. Lee Kyung-hoon and Kim Si-woo fell 3 steps and 1 step, respectively, to rank 39th and 41st.