Tuesday, March 03, 2009

McIlroy awarded for his bunker shot

Rory McIlroy has been awarded The European Tour Shot of the Month for January for the sublime bunker shot that guaranteed his first professional victory at the Dubai Desert Classic.
Having surged ahead of the field with four consecutive final round birdies between the tenth and 13th holes at the Emirates Golf Club, the 19 year old Northern Irishman looked to have wrapped up his maiden Tour win in supreme style, but three bogeys in a row – coupled with a charging Justin Rose – put McIlroy under the most intense pressure coming down the 72nd and final hole. The tension was palpable as McIlroy landed his third shot to the par five 18th hole in the bunker at the back of the green, leaving him a treacherous downhill slope to negotiate, with the greenside water hazard threatening to swallow the slightest over-hit bunker shot. McIlroy took a deep breath and a leap of faith in his gifted ability to produce a sensational stroke, his ball floating out of the trap and landing sweetly on the downslope before releasing towards the hole and coming to rest some two feet from the cup. A simple tap-in was all that was required to secure the first win of his professional career. Martin Kaymer took second place in the January Shot of the Month for his own brilliant approach to the 18th green during the final round of the Dubai Desert Classic, while third place went to Retief Goosen for his outrageous albatross during the fourth round of the Joburg Open. The South African produced a perfect three iron from no less than 216 yards on the 13th hole of the Royal Johannesburg and Kensington Golf Club to send his home crowd into rapturous applause. But it is McIlroy who takes the prize for January, making him the first Shot of the Month Award winner for 2009. The European Tour Shot of the Month Award is presented to the Tour Member for the shot judged to be the most outstanding played during each calendar month on The European Tour International Schedule. The winning shots from each month are entered into The European Tour Shot of the Year Award.

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