Text size:

  • Small
  • Normal
  • Large

McIlroy to swing by capital on way to Dubai

The Desert Classic winner confirms his entry for the Abu Dhabi Golf Championship thus ensuring five of the world's top 10 will take part.

ABU DHABI // Rory McIlroy's announcement yesterday that he will return to Abu Dhabi next month on the way to defending his Dubai Desert Classic title means that five of the world's top 10 will be doing battle in the Abu Dhabi Championship from January 21 to 24. Northern Ireland's McIlroy, who won the Dubai Desert Classic in February, and had a strong year as he led the Race to Dubai before being denied on the final leg by Lee Westwood's Dubai World Championship victory, is confident of his chances of holding two UAE titles at the same time.

"This will be my third outing in Abu Dhabi and I am well aware how important a decent showing here can be," said McIlroy who finished fifth to England's Paul Casey in January. "I shot a number of good rounds on the National Course which gave me the confidence to clinch my maiden European Tour victory in Dubai two weeks later." McIlroy, 20, joins fourth-ranked Westwood, Casey (sixth) Henrik Stenson (seventh) and Sergio Garcia (eighth) as top 10 attractions in the capital. "The field in Abu Dhabi is always strong, but I've proved that I can hold my own against the best," he added.

"I've improved each year at this event and know that I've got what it takes on the day. It would be a great start to my season if I can come away with the right result." Adam Scott recorded his first tournament victory in 19 months as he won the Australian Open by five shots yesterday. It was also the first professional title on home soil for Australian Scott, who has slipped from third to No 54 in the rankings after a poor year on the PGA Tour where he missed 10 cuts in 19 events. He won with a score of 15 under par from compatriot Stuart Appleby.

"It is very special to win here, it has taken me a while," he said. "I have worked really hard and I have been saying it all year, even though I have been paying terribly but it pays off, you have to stick with it." @Email:wjohnson@thenational.ae

Back to the top

More articles

Editor's Picks

 Al Ahli's Ismail Al Hammadi, left, battles for the ball during the Arabian Gulf Cup final between against Al Jazira at Hazza bin Zayed Stadium on April 19, 2014. Al Hammadi hit the game-winner in the 81st minute for Ahli. Al Ittihad

Al Ahli maintain course for domestic treble with victory over Al Jazira in Arabian Gulf Cup

Al Ahli maintained their hopes of a domestic treble with a superb comeback victory against Al Jazira in the Arabian Gulf Cup final on Saturday night.

 Alex Kacaniklic, left, of Fulham tackles Christian Eriksen of Tottenham Hotspur during their Premier League match at White Hart Lane on April 19, 2014, in London, England. Clive Rose / Getty Images

Tottenham keep pace in chase for European places with victory over Fulham

Swansea appear to be safe after rallying past Newcastle while Crystal Palace continue their winning streak

 On a track described as a ‘tyre-killer’ in Shanghai, Lewis Hamilton went untested on his way to a 34th pole – the most by a British driver – yesterday. Carlos Barria / Reuters

Hamilton has sympathy for fans hung out to dry with wet tyre rules

The Briton takes his career's 34th pole - the most by a British driver - but sympathises it was not ideal for the ticket-paying public.

 Yuzvendra Chahal, centre, and the Royal Challengers Bangalore teammates celebrate after the bowlers set up an easy win over Mumbai Indians. Pawan Singh / The National

Bowlers set up Bangalore as Patel stand tall over Mumbai

Mumbai bowlers gave early hope but Parthiv Patel and AB de Villiers' unbeaten stand of 99 ensures second defeat for the men in blue in Dubai.

 Roelof Kotzee is leading UAE to unchartered territory. Sarah Dea / The National

UAE step into the unknown ahead of Asian Five Nations

Performance manager Roelof Kotze will give 12 players their first experience of international rugby, but there is also minimal information on Singapore ahead of first Test in Dubai on Wednesday, reports Paul Radley.

 Novak Djokovic of Serbia winces in pain during his semi-final match against Roger Federer of Switzerland at the Monte Carlo Masters on April 19, 2014. Federer prevailed to set up an all-Swiss final with Stanislas Wawrinka. SEBASTIEN NOGIER / EPA

Ailing Djokovic will ‘just rest now’ while Nadal not pressing the panic button

Djokovic says only rest will help is injured right wrist after he falls to Roger Federer on Saturday, and Nadal suffers just his third career defeat in Monte Carlo when he slumped to a shock 7-6, 6-4 quarter-final loss to compatriot Ferrer on Friday.


To add your event to The National listings, click here

Get the most from The National