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Dubai Desert Classic hat-trick leaves Rory McIlroy on top of the world

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A jubilant Rory McIlroy believes he has plenty of room for improvement after holding off the challenge of rival Patrick Reed to win a third Hero Dubai Desert Classic title in dramatic style.McIlroy birdied the final two holes at Emirates Golf Club to card a closing 68 and finish a shot ahead of Reed on 19 under par as the first Monday finish in the tournament's history proved well worth the wait.Playing in the group ahead, Reed had also birdied the 18th to complete a superb 65 and set the clubhouse target, but McIlroy was not to be denied and holed from 15 feet on the last to cement his status as world number one."It means a lot," said McIlroy, who had never previously won on his first start of the calendar year."It was a battle all day, it’s been a battle all week.

I really feel I haven’t had my best all week but I just managed my game so well and played really smart."Just ecstatic that I gave myself an opportunity the first week back out and there’s tonnes of room for improvement but it’s a great start to the year."McIlroy and Reed had begun the week embroiled in a war of words after Reed threw a tee towards McIlroy after being snubbed by him on the practice range.Never in doubt

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