Rory McIlroy shows class to lead the way at Omega Dubai Desert Classic

Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland tees off on the first hole
Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland tees off on the first hole

World number one Rory McIlroy is in pole position at the Omega Dubai Desert Classic.

The Northern Irishman produced a superb bogey-free eight-under-par 64 to take a one-shot lead over Scotland’s Marc Warren at 14-under.

McIlroy underlined his class by closing with three successive birdies but even so, he would have come off the course with the feeling he could have gone even lower on a track where he recorded his maiden professional victory in 2009.

England’s Seve Benson and McIlroy’s Northern Ireland compatriot Graeme McDowell lead the chasing pack with 12 players within four shots of the lead.

Among them are Englishman Lee Westwood, who was bogey-free in carding 68, and Dane Morten Orum Madsen who had seven birdies and an eagle on the way to a best-of-the-week 63.