It’s not usually that Rory McIlroy will get to cross one thing off his skilled golf bucket record.
In any case the present world No. 1 owns 35 skilled wins – together with 4 main championships – and is the face of the European Ryder Cup workforce. He’s claimed the PGA Tour’s FedEx Cup 3 times and the DP World Tour’s Race to Dubai 4 occasions. Participant of the Yr and cash record awards? He’s obtained these, too.
All that mentioned, after three rounds in Dubai, McIlroy has an opportunity to perform a profession first. Climate pushed this week’s 2023 Hero Dubai Desert Basic to a Monday end, and with simply 18 holes left the Northern Irishman finds himself on the high of the leaderboard with a three-shot benefit over Callum Shinkwin and Dan Bradbury (T-2, 12 below).
“I really like this golf course. I really like this event,” mentioned McIlroy of Emirates Golf Membership. “I’ve received right here a few occasions. That is my first begin of the yr. I don’t assume I’ve ever received in my first begin of the yr. I had loads of possibilities at Abu Dhabi down the highway through the years, and by no means fairly obtained it completed. So tomorrow is a pleasant alternative to attempt to do one thing that I’ve by no means completed earlier than.”
He’s appropriate. McIlroy turned skilled in 2007 and whereas he’s by no means received his first begin of the brand new yr, he’s logged 12 top-five finishes during the last 16 years (9 in Abu Dhabi).
Relationship again to his Tour Championship win in October, McIlroy hasn’t completed worse than T-4 over his final six begins. After an overblown incident on the range with Patrick Reed to start out the week, McIlroy now has an opportunity to finish it on a excessive be aware.