My head said McIlroy, my heart said Donald. After day one of the DP World Tour Championship in Dubai, it looked to be heading for a final showdown between Europe's best: Rory McIlroy and Luke Donald. After taking the lead with seven birdies and posting a 65 after his first round, Donald appeared to be in complete contention, fresh off the back of his win at the Dunlop Phoenix Open in Japan the following week. However, in Dubai and on a course perfect for creating low scores, it was no surprise to see world number one Rory McIlroy in shared second place after the first day of play.
Much of Donald's early lead was down to his immaculate short game, a feature that has classed him as a number one golfer and after opening with a bogey-free round on Thursday, all seemed to be going according to plan for the Englishman. Indeed, on day two of the championship, Donald appeared to be the epitome of clam and relatively unfazed as he held his place at the top of the leaderboard, by now sharing with Europe's Marc Warren as well as the young starlet, McIlroy.
In the end though, you may not be surprised to hear that Rory McIlroy managed to snatch the championship by birdieing the last five holes to post a 66, finishing his final round on 23-under-par and two clear of fellow team mate Justin Rose. Although Rose had posed as a threat to McIlroy during the final round of the championship after claiming four birdies on the front nine holes, Rory, as ever reigned supreme. Donald finished in shared third place joining Charl Schwartzel on 18-under-par after sadly losing his momentum as well as his overnight lead. The threat of McIlroy may well have affected his performance on the final day, and ending up in the stream on the 18th hole only added to the frustration of what could have been for the Englishmen.
The DP World Tour Championship will be McIlroy's fifth title this year, highlighting that he is evidently back on form following a brief slump in his game during the summer. No doubt Rory's focus will now be on the first major championship of 2013, the Masters at Augusta National where one assumes McIlroy has his eyes firmly placed on a highly sought after green jacket.