Dubai Desert Classic: Rory McIlroy runner-up to Haotong Li
Rory McIlroy has finished runner up at the Dubai Desert Classic to Haotong Li
McIlroy finished on 22 under a shot behind the winner in a record-breaking battling final round.
He looked well on course to secure his first Tour win since September 2016 when he led by two on the 12th.
The win gives 22-year-old Li a second European Tour title, as well as a place in the world's top 50.
McIlroy has now finished third and second in his two starts since calling an early end to an injury-plagued and winless 2017 campaign, but will be disappointed at failing to convert a two-shot lead at halfway.
The 28-year-old's closing 69 left him on 22 under par, two shots ahead of England's Tyrrell Hatton, who saved par on the 18th in a closing 66 despite finding the water with his approach.
- Rory McIlroy frustrated after letting two-shot lead slip in Dubai
- Rory McIlroy lets two-shot lead slip in Dubai as Li Haotong takes advantage
Respect. pic.twitter.com/Pke27fJUY3— The European Tour (@EuropeanTour) January 28, 2018
Belfast Telegraph Digital