Rory McIlroy earned his fourth Dubai Desert Classic title and first victory of 2024 with a sublime one-shot victory at Emirates Golf Club.
The 34-year-old Northern Irishman, who won this event last year, stormed up the leaderboard after the halfway stage thanks to a third-round nine-under 63 moving him on 12 under, two strokes behind the lead.
The world no. 2 then displayed his quality during an impressive final-round which included three birdies on the front nine to card a two-under 70, defend his title, and claim a record fourth win at the event.
“It’s really cool,” said McIlroy on overtaking South Africa’s Ernie Els for the most wins at th event.
“I didn’t really think about that during the course of the round, it was a really tricky day.
“It was one of those days where there wasn’t a tonne of fireworks because the course was playing so difficult, but I held on as best as I could and thankfully no-one around the top of the leaderboard made much of a run… incredible to get my fourth win here.”
Poland’s Meronk, who began the final day sharing the lead with McIlroy, hit back-to-back birdies on the back nine to put pressure on the four-time major winner but wasn’t enough for him to snatch the title.
America’s Cameron Young ended the tournament in third on 12 under while there was a three-way tie for fourth between Canada’s Aaron Cockerill, Chile’s Joaquin Niemann and Spain’s Pablo Larrazabal all on 10 under.
The next event on the DP World Tour schedule is the Ras Al Khaimah Championship taking place between 25-28 January at Al Hamra GC in the UAE.