McIlroy kicks off Dubai Desert Classic bid with historic shot from Atlantis The Royal

Northern Irishman bids for a fourth Dallah trophy when the Rolex Series event tees off at Emirates Golf Club on Thursday

Rory McIlroy tees off atop Atlantis The Royal, Dubai ahead of the 2024 Dubai Desert Classic. Getty Images
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World No 2 Rory McIlroy kick-started his quest to defend his Dubai Desert Classic title with an impressive stunt on top of the Atlantis The Royal, Dubai.

The Northern Irishman bids for a fourth Dallah trophy when the Rolex Series event tees off at Emirates Golf Club on Thursday.

McIlroy's audacious drive not only set the stage for an epic week but also delivered a jaw-dropping hole-in-one, setting the golfing world ablaze with anticipation.

"I'm thrilled to be back on the Majlis this weekend, a course filled with cherished memories, especially from last year's triumphant finish," said McIlroy, referring to his wins in 2009, 2015 and 2023.

"Dubai holds a special place in my heart, and the dynamic evolution of the city is truly awe-inspiring. The view from where we stand is a testament to that, and I am really looking forward to this weekend's event."

The four-time major winner will face competition from an elite field of golf’s top talents, with major winners Padraig Harrington and Francesco Molinari, world No 9 and reigning Open Champion Brian Harman, as well as fellow Ryder Cup winning teammates Luke Donald, Tyrrell Hatton, and Tommy Fleetwood – who pipped McIlroy to the inaugural Dubai Invitational title last week – among the star-studded names set to take part this weekend.

Free general admission tickets are still available but limited, get yours now on dubaidesertclassic.com. For more information, please visit www.dubaidesertclassic.com.

Updated: January 18, 2024, 6:54 AM