Li Haotong ready for glory after beating Rory

Li Haotong ready for glory after beating Rory

Rory McIlroy has risen into the automatic qualifying places for The 2018 Ryder Cup following a runner-up finish at the Omega Dubai Desert Classic. Li made four birdies over the last six holes, while McIlroy fell back with a bogey on the 16th when he hit three-wood off the tee into a waste area.

Unfortunately for the three-time European Tour victor, 12 other players finished the tournament on the same total, which meant he pocketed less than would be expected for a top-10 finish.

The 22-year-old was propelled to victory by an eight-under 64 in his third round, which included eight birdies to zero bogeys after playing the first two days in a combined 12-under-par.

Although the four-time major victor birdied the final two holes, Li did likewise under enormous pressure to complete a closing 69 and win by a single shot. The 60th-ranked golfer in the Official World Golf Ranking is now up to second in the Race to Dubai, and he'll be in the field once again this week at the Maybank Championship.

McIlroy talked afterwards of "bad shots" and "poor decisions" and "mental errors" in how he allowed a position of strength - of being two shots ahead with seven holes to play to evaporate before his eyes and to ultimately turn into a situation where he lost out by one shot.

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"I was lucky, I made birdie on the 13th, and he made par".

"I just didn't realise I could make that putt on 15".

"If someone had told me at the start of the year you'd finish third (in Abu Dhabi) and second in your first two events, I would have said I'd take that", said McIlroy. The competitor in me is very disappointed right now. "I think it was the most important shot of the round".

"To be honest, I don't want to say too much about my TrackMan because I'll give them free advertising", said Ramsay, laughing.

"Over the winter, I sat down and analysed everything that I did previous year and, along with my coach, Ian Rae, we just felt I need to increase it by a little bit more".

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