Rory McIlroy on Dubai Desert Classic return: "It's a comfortable place for me"

Rory McIlroy feeling enthused ahead of a big week in Dubai on the DP World Tour. 

Andy Roberts's picture
Wed, 26 Jan 2022
Rory McIlroy on Dubai Desert Classic return: "It's a comfortable place for me"

Rory McIlroy is hopeful that a happy hunting ground can bring him a first Rolex Series title as he tees it up at this week's Dubai Desert Classic.

McIlroy made just his fourth DP World Tour start at Emirates Golf Club as a 16-year-old amateur in 2006 - also following Tiger Woods round inside the ropes - and three years later he lifted the trophy for his first professional victory.

He won the Dallah Trophy again in 2015 and having also tasted glory twice at the DP World Tour Championship and lived in the Emirate, the Northern Irishman is delighted to be back.

"(I have) a lot of good memories here," said McIlroy, who rallied with rounds of 67 and 69 last weekend to finish tied 12th in Abu Dhabi.

"Played as an amateur, got to World Number One amateur after playing pretty well in 2007. I lived in Dubai for four years as well. I've got good memories here. Have a lot of close friends from this region. It's a very comfortable place for me and it's nice to be back.

“This was one of the first events I played on the European Tour back in 2006, I think as a 16-year-old. The course hasn't changed that much over the years.

"They put a couple of new tee boxes here and there. The greens seem to get progressively smaller as we keep coming back, so to see the new green complexes is nice to get them that can to their original shapes.

"It's a great golf course. It's a fun golf course to play. Gives you plenty of opportunities to make birdies. You know the scoring is always going to be pretty good. You have the three par fives on the back nine.

"You have a couple of reachable fours, and it's just a fun golf course to play. I think everyone enjoys coming back here."