McIlroy pips Reed by one shot to win third Dubai Desert Classic crown

PGA: THE CJ CUP in South Carolina - Final Round
Oct 23, 2022; Ridgeland, South Carolina, USA; Rory McIlroy plays from the fourth tee during the final round of THE CJ CUP in South Carolina golf tournament. Mandatory Credit: David Yeazell-USA TODAY Sports/File Photo

Jan 30 (Reuters) - World number one Rory McIlroy won his third Dubai Desert Classic title on Monday after he shot a final round of 68 to finish at 19-under overall, beating Patrick Reed by one stroke.

Reed finished with a commendable final-round score of 65 which included an eagle on the par-five 10th hole but bogeyed the 16th to post 18-under overall.

In response, McIlroy kept his cool and birdied the last two holes - including a wedge to 15 feet and a downhill putt on the 18th - to celebrate his first title on the DP World Tour since November 2019.

"It was a battle all day. Honestly it has been a battle all week. I really feel like I haven't had my best all week but I managed my game and played really smart," McIlroy said.

"I managed my game well, lots of room for improvements... Mentally, today, it was probably one of the toughest rounds I've ever had to play because it would have been really easy to let your emotions get in the way.

"I'm going to enjoy this. This is probably sweeter than it should be or needs to be... A really good foundation for the year."

Australia's Lucas Herbert, who had set the clubhouse target at 16-under overall earlier in the day, finished third.

Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Christian Radnedge

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