Rory McIlroy has won the Dubai Desert Classic title for the third time in his career on Monday morning after seeing off the challenge of rival Patrick Reed.
The Northern Irishman sunk a brilliant putt on the 18th green to finish on -19 overall — 68 on the day — and one shot ahead of Reed.
There had been confrontation between the two in the lead up to this tournament and they had been in close competition heading into the final day.
It was McIlroy who took a three-shot lead into the final round of the Hero Dubai Desert Classic although a late blunder gave the chasing pack renewed hope.
The world number one birdied the 13th, 14th, 15th and 17th as he threatened to leave the field trailing in his wake at Emirates Golf Club, only to hit his approach to the 18th into the water to run up his only bogey of the day.
The resulting 65 gave McIlroy a total of 15 under par, with England’s Callum Shinkwin and Dan Bradbury his nearest challengers on 12 under. Reed and Ian Poulter were part of a seven-strong group a shot further back.
McIlory remained composed in his final round although he did come into difficulty again on the 18th with his shot dropping just short of the water.
But in the end, his sensational putt on the 18th ensured he finished with the birdie he needed to emerge victorious.