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Rory McIlroy Now The Strong Favourite in Dubai

Rory McIlroy Now The Strong Favourite in Dubai

Rory McIlroy shot a 7-under 65 on Thursday for a two shot lead at the Omega Dubai Desert Classic easily putting himself ahead of Tiger Woods and Martin Kaymer.

McIlroy made just one bogey and closed with birdies on three of his last four holes pretty much forcing the bookmakers to give him the strongest of confidence at (2-1).

The young Northern Irishman’s round was so good he didn’t miss a single green in his opening round at the Emirates Golf Club and will most likely play just as well tomorrow in what has been a great start to his 2011 European Tour campaign.

Martin Kaymer is second on the betting board at (4-1) after a solid, but not spectacular, opening round of 69 in a day that was filled with missed opportunities.

The world number two doubled the par-4 10th and failed to make birdie on either of the par-5’s on the back nine.

The way Kaymer has been playing of late one should expect him to clean things up tomorrow and make a run for the top of the leaderboard.  He’s a notoriously  accurate player, so don’t expect him to make many, if any, more big numbers over the next 54 holes.

If he makes a run on Friday, Kaymer will have to hit more than the 11 of 18 greens he hit in round one.

Lee Westwood is tied with Kaymer at 3-under and finds himself as the bookies’ third choice at (8-1) after 18 holes.

West wood didn’t do much in round one, but kept things steady until an unexpected bogey at the par-5 18th.  Still, it was a round with only four birdies and if he continues to struggle to pick up shots his chances moving forward are greatly diminished.

Behind Westwood at (12-1) is Tiger Woods who made just 9 pars in his 1-under opening round.

It was the definition of a ‘yo-yo’ round that finished with an eagle on 18.  Before that the former number one had 4 birdies, three bogeys and a double.

Until Tiger starts to put together a string of consistent play for more than a few holes at a time, it may be asking too much for him to be a true betting favourite.


As a kid, I might have been psycho, I guess, but I used to throw golf balls in the trees and try and somehow make par from them. I thought that was fun    – Tiger Woods

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