DUBAI: Rory McIlroy secured his place in the history books by winning a record fourth Hero Dubai Desert Classic title by one shot on Sunday at Emirates Golf Club.
The Rolex Series Event once again attracted thousands of fans on the fourth and final day, as McIlroy held his nerve to finish 14-under and successfully defend his Dallah trophy, ahead of Adrian Meronk. He is the second golfer to retain the title after Stephen Gallacher, and adds to his 2009, 2015 and 2023 triumphs.
McIlroy was presented the Dallah trophy by Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al-Maktoum, chairman of both the Dubai Civil Aviation Authority and Dubai Airports, and CEO of Emirates Airline & Group.
McIlroy went into the final day two shots off the lead and made three birdies in his first nine. The world No. 2 suffered a minor blip with a bogey on the 13th hole but made par for the last nine to shoot 70 for the title.
“It’s really cool to win. It was a really tricky day and it was hard to get it close and make a ton of birdies,” the Northern Irishman said.
“The pivotal point for me came on the eighth and ninth hole. Making two threes there set me up to try to control it on the way in.
“I made that one blunder on the 13th but felt like I steadied the ship well over the last few holes, and it was one of those days where there wasn’t a ton of fireworks just because the course was so difficult, but I held on as best as I could and thankfully no one around the top of the leaderboard made much of a run.”
Runner-up Meronk had a mixed day with five birdies, two bogeys and a double bogey, while overnight leader Cameron Young’s quest for his maiden DP World Tour title goes on after registering 74 on the final day to finish 12-under.
Having become the first golf event in the Middle East, and the first DP World Tour Rolex Series event to achieve GEO-certified tournament status, sustainability was again a key element for the 2024 edition. There were over 400 solar panels powering this year’s event, with free water provided for fans across the Majlis course.
The HDDC also partnered again with Heroes of Hope, a youth sports charity working with People of Determination to promote inclusivity. Three clinics were held with the last one attended by South African golfer Thriston Lawrence.
Simon Corkill, executive tournament director, said: “Over the past four days, the Hero Dubai Desert Classic has demonstrated why this event is one of the key highlights on the Dubai calendar and the first Rolex Series Event on the DP World Tour, which continues to go from strength to strength.
“From the best global players producing incredible moments on the Majlis course to thousands enjoying the wide array of entertainment at Tournament Town, we could not have asked for a better edition, especially in our historic 35th year.”