Missing LinksFebruary 3, 2016

Rory McIlroy on Dubai: If I'm not leaving with trophy, I’m going to feel disappointed’

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“Rory McIlroy is going for three tournament victories in a row this week in events held in Dubai and admitted: ‘If I'm not leaving on Sunday with the trophy, I'm going to feel very disappointed,’” Derek Lawrenson writes in the Daily Mail in this story on McIlroy’s positive vibes going into the Dubai Desert Classic this week. McIlroy is the defending champion and also won the DP World Tour Championship in Dubai last November.

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Rory McIlroy in the Dubai Desert Classic pro-am.

The European Tour’s Middle East swing — tournaments in Abu Dhabi, Qatar and Dubai — attracts many of golf’s biggest starts, including Americans Jordan Spieth and Rickie Fowler, by paying large appearance fees. Martin Dempster of the Scotsman makes the case here that the European Tour should find a way to allow them to qualify for, and entice them to return to, that tour’s equivalent of the FedEx Cup’s Tour Championship, the DP World Tour Championship at the end of its season, to further boost the European Tour.

The first time Phil Mickelson won what is now called the Waste Management Phoenix Open, in a playoff with Justin Leonard, “his celebratory kiss came from his fiancée, Amy McBride; they were married later that year. Mickelson used graphite-shafted irons in the victory, while Leonard was still using persimmon woods,” Sean Martin of PGATour.com writes in this retrospective of the first of three Mickelson victories at the TPC Scottsdale.