Rory McIlroy has landed his second European Tour accolade in as many weeks with his bunker shot on the 72nd hole at the Dubai Desert Classic earning him Shot of the Month for January.
The teenage star, also the tour Player of the Month, displayed nerves of steel to send his downhill sand shot to within a few feet of the hole, allowing him to roll the following putt into the hole and clinch his maiden European title.
McIlroy’s shot was one of three in the running for the award. Martin Kaymer’s impressive approach to the final hole at the Dubai Desert Classic and Retief Goosen’s second shot to the 18th at the Joburg Open were second and third respectively.
Although the execution of McIlroy’s shot was exemplary, it was the context of it that will surely have tipped the vote in his favour.
With Justin Rose breathing down his neck, knowing that he had squandered a huge lead, the burden of winning his first title weighing heavy on his shoulder and water lurking dangerously in the background – a lesser man would not have made the shot, McIlroy did.