After opening with a superb 64 in blustery conditions, Rory McIlroy fell three shots behind Alvaro Quiros, the long-hitting Spaniard. While Quiros struggled early on Sunday to fall out of contention, McIlroy was magnificent. Fending off the twin challenges of Sweden’s Peter Hanson and playing partner Grégory Havret of France, the 22-year-old reached the 18th hole with a slender one-shot lead. McIlroy tugged his drive ever so slightly but it managed to defy science and instead of bounding out-of-bounds, kicked right and into a good lie in the rough some 95 yards from the flag.
Not that the tournament was over. McIlroy’s shot found the treacherous greenside bunker. With Havret struggling to save par after finding trouble off the tee, the world number two knew that an up-and-down would clinch the title he so craved. Splashing delicately from some distance below the level of the green, the shot landed softly and trundled unerringly – brilliantly – into the bottom of the cup to complete a marvellous 65 and a two-shot victory. McIlroy pumped his fist and let out wild screams of joy.