Rory McIlroy hails stunning eagle finish to opening round in Dubai

Rory McIlroy was handed a late confidence boost after a stunning finish to his opening round at the DP World Tour Championship.

The world No 2 sits just a shot off the pace after an opening-round 64 at Jumeriah Golf Estates, where he capped off a strong start to the week in style at the par-five last.

McIlroy hit a magnificent three-wood approach at the 18th to set up a five-foot eagle and end the day on eight under, his career-best score at the event he won in 2012 and 2015.

“Honestly it’s possibly the best shot I’ve hit all year,” McIlroy told Sky Sports. “The wind was off the left, so it was a nice one for me to just aim straight at the pin and know that if I hit my little draw it should hold and I just flushed it.

Former Ulster fly-half Niall O'Connor is McIlroy's caddie this week

“I carry my three-wood off the deck about 280 (yards) so it was right on the limit, but as soon as I hit it I knew it was perfect. It was right out of the middle.

“It was obviously nice to finish the way I did. I hit some really quality shots coming in which gives me a lot confidence going into the next few days.”

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