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Golf Australia Express : Issue 22
WORLD NO. 2 Rory McIlroy returns tothesceneofa2009wininabid to close the gap on world No.1 Luke Donald. Three years ago, at just 19, the Northern Irishman finished 19-under par to seal a wire-to-wire victory. In his last seven outings on the European Tour, the 22-year-old’s only finished worse than 4th on one occasion, and that was an 11th. Two weeks ago at the Abu Dhabi HSBC he finished runner-up, one-shot behind Robert Rock. This kid’s got a point to make, and you gotta fancy his chances. IT’S TAKEN a while for England’s Robert Rock to be considered a worthy contender on Tour—more than a decade in fact. But after the 34-year-old’s maiden victory at last year’s BMW Italian Open— and his impressive win in January over the likes of McIlroy, Woods, McDowell and Bjorn, Rocky’s starting to look like a prizefighter. Currently second in Race for Dubai standings, the Englishman looks ready for another solid finish this week. OTG PEEK THE Omega Dubai Desert Classic February 9-12, 2012 Emirates Golf Club, Dubai, UAE Purse: $2,500,000 Defending Champ: Alvaro Quiros (ESP) BUNKER DOWN What’s happening on the European Tour this week WHO TO WATCH THIS WEEK RORY MCILROY (NIR) ROBERT ROCK (ENG) THEFINAL event of the European Tour’s three-week Desert Swing will be staged at the challenging Emirates Golf Club. Since it’s inception in 1989, the Dubai based event has proved to be a happy hunting ground for the game’s best. Seve Ballesteros, Ernie Els and Tiger Woods are a few big names to have won here. This time around it’s the trio of Lee Westwood, Rory McIlroy and Martin Kaymer who head a strong field that includes US Presidents Cup captain Fred Couples. With Fred joining three of the world’s top four players expect some flashy golf in the desert. THE EVENT