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McIlroy grabs defeat from the jaws of victory in Dubai

Rory McIlroy let victory in the Dubai Invitational slip through his fingers after a dramatic final round in the United Arab Emirates.

With two holes to go, McIlroy was tied with South African Thriston Lawrence who sat in the clubhouse on 18 under, hoping for a play-off at minimum or a mistake from the Northern Irishman that would leave him alone on top of the leaderboard.

However, at the 17th McIlroy’s playing partner Tommy Fleetwood drained a big putt to make it a three-way tie before McIlroy followed suit seconds later with an eight-footer to take the outright lead on 19 under.

Disaster struck moments later when McIlroy found the water with his tee shot on the 18th.

A decent drop left him with a huge up and down to make par but while his approach shot found the green, he was left with a 50-foot putt.

Fleetwood, meanwhile, had a much handier putt to make a birdie and take the tournament outright.

McIlroy addressed his putt first and while he got it close, the ball just drifted away at the final stage, leaving him two feet short.

Fleetwood stepped up next with a 10-foot, slightly downhill putt for the tournament and drained it to a chorus of cheers, taking the tournament by a single shot, with his round of 67 leaving him out on his own on 19 under.

McIlroy had to settle for a share on second alongside Lawrence.

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