Donaldson delights in Dubai as McIlroy maintains fine form

McIlroy is tied for second at the Dubai Desert Classic

Paul Dunne has made a good start to the Omega Dubai Desert Classic after a six under-par 66 left him tied for tenth after day one.

As Glynn explains: "I think it's a testament to the design by Karl Litten, that players can hit the ball 60 or 70 yards longer now than when the course was built back in 1988, but this course still challenges them".

Garcia, the defending champion, is coming off a win at the Singapore Open on the Asian Tour, a remarkable start considering he was playing with new Callaway equipment and ball after switching over from TaylorMade at the end of previous year.

Rory McIlroy said Wednesday that he will take a new approach to winning the Masters for the first time by slashing his Augusta support team which has ballooned to nearly 20 people in recent years. "It gave me more confidence as I went on through the year".

"I had tennis elbow for a year and a half, that wasn't very nice, but you've just got to try and play through these things".

"I don't think, you can read too much into that", said McIlroy, who himself needs to win the elusive green jacket to compete a career Grand Slam. The game feels good right now, there's no doubts in there and I'm holing a lot of putts'.

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"Not being able to play to my best previous year was something I was very frustrated with", said McIlroy.

"There's so many chances out here that I knew if I got into a rhythm that some would fall", McIlroy said. "His fans will hopefully come down and get involved, and if we can convert even one per cent to pick up a golf club and play golf then that would be great". "I feel I left a few out there, but the end of the day, 65, you're not going to complain about that". McIlroy has averaged 67 in his five rounds this season and finished 18-under last week in Abu Dhabi.

"I did exceed expectations".

Another player to shoot 65 was McIlroy's Ryder Cup playing partner, Thomas Pieters, who also fed off a good finish in Abu Dhabi, where he was fourth. "I was not just down in the dumps because I was excited about the process of trying to get my body and my game better". I feel like I started off past year a little bit sort of 71, 70 instead of getting right into the thick of things from the start.

Interestingly, both winners of this tournament in the last two years - Danny Willett and Sergio Garcia - have gone on to win the Masters...might that be playing on McIlroy's mind?

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