DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Tommy Fleetwood benefitted from two big errors on the again 9 from Rory McIlroy and produced his personal sturdy end to win the Dubai Invitational following a back-and-forth final-round duel on Sunday.
McIlroy had already three-putted from 2 ft at No. 14 by the point he reached the 18th tee with a one-shot lead over Fleetwood and pulled his drive into the water.
Fleetwood adopted that by driving into the center of the green and despatched his strategy to 16 ft, nicely inside McIlroy after the world No. 2 needed to take a drop.
McIlroy missed his winding putt up the hill and Fleetwood made his to shoot 67 for 19-under 265 general, securing a primary win because the Nedbank Golf Problem in November 2022.
He was a stroke away from McIlroy (67), who tied for second place with Thriston Lawrence (64) within the first European tour occasion of 2024.
“First week again out, I believe you’re going to count on a few of these sloppy errors,” McIlroy stated, “and sadly for me these errors got here on the mistaken time right now.”
McIlroy smiled and gave Fleetwood an enormous hug on the 18th inexperienced after lacking out on a primary victory because the Scottish Open in July. They’re shut mates and had been taking part in companions on the Ryder Cup final 12 months.
McIlroy, the world No. 2, began the day a stroke again from Fleetwood, was three behind after the tenth gap however 4 birdies in a five-hole stretch — both facet of that unfathomable three-putt on the par-3 14th — put him in a tie with Fleetwood.
After a sloppy bogey at No. 16, Fleetwood holed a birdie putt from 30 ft on the seventeenth to remain inside one shot of McIlroy after which capitalized on his taking part in accomplice’s worst swing of the day on the 18th tee.
“It was nice watching one of many world’s greatest golfers in Rory, the way in which that he was taking part in the again 9, the way in which that he attacked the again 9,” Fleetwood stated. “And yeah, simply up-and-down in the direction of the tip, actually.
“I’m very completely satisfied,” he added. “It’s wonderful profitable. Like nearly all people else on this planet of golf, I don’t win anyplace close to as a lot as I want to, however simply that profitable feeling is nice.”