Rory McIlroy ties Dubai Desert Classic scoring record, cruises to win

Ryan Ballengee

Since July, Rory McIlroy has done one of two things on the European Tour: won or finished second. On Sunday, he won the Dubai Desert Classic for the second time, cruising to a three-shot win and tying the tournament scoring record in the process.

McIlroy closed with 2-under 70 to post a 72-hole total of 22-under 266, notching a quiet three birdies against one bogey in what even his competition knew was a coronation. 

“I never even thought of winning; he's playing so good," said runner-up Alex Noren, whose closing 65 left him three clear of third-place defending champion Stephen Gallacher. "I was just trying to get a nice finish in, keep making birdies and try to stay up with the other guys."

The Scot Gallacher was one ahead of a group of five tied for fourth at 15 under par including Martin Kaymer, who ceded a 10-shot in-round lead on the final day of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship.

The world No. 1 said he will take three weeks off before playing next in the Honda Classic. In the meantime, McIlroy will be the central witness in the Dublin-based trial of a lawsuit he filed against former agents Horizon Sports Management. McIlroy could be on the witness stand for up to a week. 

Meanwhile, the golf world can testify that, without a doubt, the Ulsterman is the best player in the world.

Ryan Ballengee is a Yahoo Sports contributor. Find him on Facebook and Twitter.