A measure of just how hungry Rory McIlroy is to succeed was seen in Abu Dhabi.
Most other golfers would have been relatively pleased to finish third first time out after the winter break, but not Rory. He was unbelievably disappointed not to have won.
The way I saw it was that he played the best golf of his career while playing in the last group. I know he won in Dubai in the last group, but he was backing up a bit there. Seems to me his best finishes usually come when he’s chasing.
Rory just got off to a bad start in Abu Dhabi and although he played the back nine in four under, he didn’t quite get there.
Although our run of wins was interrupted by Martin Kaymer, Rory was one of a trio of our golfers who made the top 10. Louis Oosthuizen looks ready to contend again and finished fifth while Dave Horsey was a very creditable eighth after a long break.
It’s a big two weeks now in Qatar and Dubai because the field for the WGC Match Play will be determined then. Ross McGowan, currently just inside the top 64 who qualify, and Chris Wood and Louis, just outside, will be looking for strong finishes.
Plenty of world ranking points on offer so the carrot could not be bigger at this stage of the season.