McIlroy has advantage over Donald in Dubai

The Dubai World Championship could not have started any better for Rory McIlroy, in his pursuit to take the European Money title away from World No. 1, Luke Donald.

McIlroy closed out his round carding a 30 on the back nine, that included six birdies, stringing three together on 16, 17 and 18 to close with a six-under 66, to finish in solo third.

The 22-year old was bested only by the leader Peter Hanson's 64 and Paul Lawrie's 65.

Donald on the other hand, did not have his best day.

Already securing the PGA Tour money title, the 34-year old Englishman was looking to become the first player in history to win the money titles on both the PGA and European Tour.

Donald began his round by bogeying the par-4 first hole, though bounced back with four birdies after that to go out in 33.

However, he slipped on the back nine carding three bogeys in a row on 14, 15 and 16 to fall back to even par for his opening round, in a tie for 26th.

"I hit a few loose shots." Donald said in his post round press conference.

"They came out of the blue a little bit, although there were a couple of times last week (in South Africa) when I had that left shot and I've got to keep working on it."

"I felt very much in control and then I lost it, but this course can do that to you. There are a lot of hazards in the middle of fairways, so you aim for one side and if you miss it you can be in the bushes."

In order for McIlory to take the money title away from Donald, he must win the event and have Donald finish outside of the top nine.

The Northern Irishman; still dealing with a virus, had this to say after his round. "It's sort of taken the pressure off. I'm not 100 per cent and there's nothing I can do about it."

"I made three silly mistakes on the front nine but stayed patient and the back nine was pretty much flawless."

"I definitely don't feel invincible, but I feel every time I tee it up I have a good chance of shooting a good score."

McIlory went on to say, "It was the perfect start for me and really sets me up for the next three days. I didn't expect Luke to play the way he did."

Of course, there are still three rounds of play remaining and this event is far from over.

However, McIlroy has put himself in a much better position to try and snatch the money title away from Donald. As the World No. 1 struggled in the opening round.

We'll have to wait and see if Donald can produce under the gun as he did last month in Disney to come from behind and beat Webb Simpson to win the PGA Tour money title.

Does history await Donald on Sunday?

No comments:

Post a Comment