Rory McIlroy is pleased with the way he has started the golfing year and is ready to challenge in Dubai this week.
The Northern Irishman finished tied third at last week's Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship and now prepares for the Dubai Desert Classic in good heart.
I know that my game is in good enough shape to contend and try to win.Rory McIlroy
He missed the tournament last year but has a good record there, having had top 10 finishes in his last seven appearances at the Emirates Golf Club.
At a press conference ahead of the event, McIlroy said that last week in Abu Dhabi had exceeded his expectations.
He said: "I thought if I could have shot four rounds under par and just saw some positive signs in my game, I would have gone away happy, but I played four rounds and felt no ill effects of the week.
"I guess that has changed the way I view this week a little bit because of how I played last week. I know that my game is in good enough shape to contend and try to win.
"I feel like I've got a bit of a spring back in in my step because of what happened last week and am very confident in myself. It (Emirates Golf Club) is a golf course I know how to get around and I know how to shoot good scores on."
McIlroy is 4/1 to win the Dubai Desert Classic with Sergio Garcia 8/1 and Henrik Stenson priced at 11/1.
McIlroy has to go back to 2016 for his last tournament win, winning a playoff for the Tour Championship in September of that year.
However, a rib injury blighted his 2017 season and now, pain free, he is ready to compete again, starting in Dubai where he was a winner in 2009 and 2015.
McIlroy is 15/8 to be the leading British and Irish player this week.
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