It's mathematically impossible for Rory McIlroy to be crowned the Race to Dubai champion this week, due to Bernd Wiesberger's third place finish at the Nedbank Golf Challenge, but that won't stop the Northern Irishman from wanting to finish the season in style.
McIlroy got off to a fantastic start at Jumeirah Golf Estates, making five birdies in his first seven holes and after scoring back-to-back birdies at 15 and 16, the four-time major champion capped off his round in style with an eagle at the last, for an opening round of 64.
On most days, an eight-under par 64 would be enough to see you sit at the top of the leaderboard, but it wasn't to be for McIlroy, as Mike Lorenzo-Vera, who has been struggling with illness, birdied his last four holes to take the overnight lead with a nine-under 63, just one shy of the course record.
Jon Rahm and Tommy Fleetwood, who are still in with a shot of winning the Race to Dubai, also got off to a decent start in Dubai, with Rahm in solo third place at six-under par and Fleetwood sharing T4 with fellow Englishman Tom Lewis at five under.
Fresh off his first win in nearly two years at the Nedbank Golf Challenge last week, Fleetwood holed out for eagle at his opening hole of the day, but then got extremely lucky with his tee shot down the 18th...
McIlroy's day almost started with a monster drain, as he lipped out at the first from 40 feet, but he followed that up with two birdies at two and three, before making three in a row from five to seven.
After failing to get up-and-down from the bunker at 12, McIlroy made his only bogey of the day, but two more birdies put him within three of the lead.
McIlroy's second shot at the par-5 18th was GolfMagic's shot of the day, as he absolutely crushed his 3 wood all the way to the green to leave himself a simple putt for eagle. Check out McIlroy's incredible eagle below: