McIlroy wins record fourth Dubai Desert Classic title

McIlroy wins record fourth Dubai Desert Classic title

Rory McIlroy has claimed that it is nice to play well ahead of the 2024 Masters, hours after he successfully defended his Dubai Desert Classic title. His win now means the Holywood native has won a record fourth title by finishing 14 under, one stroke ahead of Poland's Adrian Meronk. The victory surpassed his previous shared record of three wins with Ernie Els

McIlroy surged into contention on Saturday with a remarkable 63, overcoming a 10-shot deficit at the start of round three. His closing 71 on Sunday ensured he kept the trophy in 2022.

There is sure to be more speculation around McIlroy and his quest for another major because of the major drought the Northern Irishman has gone through.

The Holywood native is a four-time major champion, winning the 2011 U.S. Open, 2012 PGA Championship, 2014 Open Championship, and 2014 PGA Championship. Despite achieving seven top-10 finishes in 10 recent Masters tournaments, the Masters is one that has escaped the golfing superstar, and every attempt to complete the career grand slam at Augusta has eluded him at every turn.

If he does win this year's event in 2024, he will be welcomed into the same club as golf legends such as Gene Sarazen, Ben Hogan, Gary Player, Jack Nicklaus, and Tiger Woods by winning in Florida this year.

Speaking after his win in Dubai, the Holywood native admitted that Augusta was too far away to concentrate on, but he did admit winning events was a better feeling going into tournaments than not.

"Augusta is still a long way away in golf terms," McIlroy said after the win. "A lot can change in two and a half months. But it's always nice to feel like you're playing well going into it.

"I've still got some big events to come, but until that first or second week in April, at least a part of my mind is going to be towards getting myself absolutely ready for them.

"Getting a win early in the year is always important. I think it really can sort of act as a nice springboard into the rest of the year.

"I knew my game was in good shape, and I think getting the win just sort of validates that you're on the right path and you're doing the right things.

"Look, I feel good about everything I've done over the past couple of weeks, and it's been a great start to the year, and I want to kick on from here."

McIlroy's next test will be at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am in California from February 1–4.