McIlroy favourite in Dubai

DUBAI: Rory McIlroy will be looking to make history at the Dubai Desert Classic this week as he bids to become the first player to record back-to-back wins in the Gulf regions premier tournament.

The talented Ulsterman made his senior-level title breakthrough here last year at the age of 19 when he sunk a four-footer at the last to hold off a late charge from Englands Justin Rose.

That proved to be the appetiser for a tremendous season that established him inside the world�s top 10 with an impressive run of top 10 finishes and a runners-up spot in the Race to Dubai, the former Order of Merit.

Back at the Emirates Golf Club, McIlroy knows that a repeat performance on Sunday would set him up nicely for a year in which he hopes to get closer in the majors and play a leading role in the European Ryder Cup team.

�I think the thing about this tournament is it�s become very familiar to me because I think this is my fifth Desert Classic � it�s the event I�ve played the most on the European Tour,� he said. �I feel very comfortable on the golf course because I�ve got to know it so well over the past few years.�

McIlroy got his season underway two weeks ago as the European Tour�s Gulf Swing got underway in Abu Dhabi and he showed good early form with a third place finish behind Martin Kaymer and Ian Poulter.

�I have to keep working hard to keep this run going and if I can do that, hopefully I can keep getting better and better.�

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