Rory McIlroy pips Patrick Reed to win Dubai Desert Classic: video highlights

An enthralling final round at the Dubai Desert Classic has seen Rory McIlroy prevail by just a single shot.

After a week when teegate* dominated golf headlines, Rory McIlroy has had the last laugh by beating Patrick Reed by a single shot at the Dubai Desert Classic.

Going into the final round with a three-shot lead, Rory McIlroy soon found himself under pressure from a surging Reed who made three birdies in his opening six holes.

And when Reed eagled the 10th hole, this tournament suddenly had a “good vs bad” feel about it that was captivating to watch.

“It was tougher in a way because I knew that I had the chances coming up 10, 13, 17, 18, but it’s tough when you see the person right in front of you birdieing those holes, eagling those holes, whatever it is,” McIlroy said after his round.

Both players dropped a stroke on the back nine but Reed made a birdie at the par-5 final hole to tie McIlroy at 18-under par.

McIlroy had mental demons to overcome on the 18th hole at Emirates Golf Club.

An errant shot cost him the tournament in 2022 when he found the water attempting to reach the green in two. And only yesterday he did the same thing while holding a four-shot lead.

In an attempt to make the second shot easier, McIlroy ripped a driver that finished a foot from a water hazard. Forced to lay up, McIlroy hit his approach to 12 feet to set up birdie and a shot at winning the tournament.

“I didn’t really feel like there was an option. It was a tale of two lies. Behind the ball it was all sort of downgrain so I could get into the back of the ball okay with like a five or a six fire but there was a big tuft of rough out in front of the ball which was going to kill any speed the ball had coming off the clubface,” McIlroy said.

“The only realisation I had was to hit a wedge and try to get it up and down to get the win.”

While much of the golf world was hoping for a Reed v McIlroy playoff, the world number one rolled the birdie putt in to claim an enthralling, emotional victory.

“Mentally it was very tough today. Like I felt like I could have let my emotions get in the way. I really — I expended a lot of mental energy today trying to focus on myself and focus on shooting a score and trying to reach a number” McIlroy said.

“I had to work reallyseveral hard to forget about who was up there and just try to focus on myself.”

*What is teegate?
Teegate is the unimaginative beforeated by a number of golf pundits to describe the incident between McIlroy and Reed prior to the tournament.

Reed, now playing on the LIV Golf Tour went to greet McIlroy on the range. The Northern Irishman has never held back when asked about the defectors from the European and PGA Tours and refused to acknowledge Reed.

I’m going to give you the rest as links and dot points as it all gets a little petty.

It’s hard to believe someone refusing to greet Patrick Reed is considered big news. It certainly wouldn’t have been anything new for him.

But in a world where the Saudi Arabian government is being accused of sportswashing and luring some of the world’s best and most villainous golfers to its new tour, this is unfortunately considered a big deal.

So there you go, that’s teegate.

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