Rory McIlroy finishes sixth as Danny Willett claims Omega Dubai Desert Classic

Rory McIlroy follows his ball on the 18th hole
Rory McIlroy follows his ball on the 18th hole

Rory McIlroy could only finish sixth as Danny Wuillett claimed the Omega Dubai Desert Classic and take a massive step towards a place in the world’s top 10.

Englishman Willett holed from 15 feet for a birdie on the 18th to card a closing 69 and finish 19 under par, one shot ahead of compatriot Andy Sullivan and playing partner Rafael Cabrera-Bello.

Sullivan had also birdied the last in the group ahead to temporarily join Willett at the top of the leaderboard, before Cabrera-Bello narrowly missed a long eagle attempt on 18 and tapped in for birdie to also finish 18 under.

Spain’s Alvaro Quiros and Korea’s Byeong Hun An shared fourth place on 16 under after matching rounds of 65, with defending champion McIlroy another shot back alongside Henrik Stenson after also closing with a 65.

Dubai Desert Classic third-round leaderboard

-19 D Willett (Eng); -18 A Sullivan (Eng), R Cabrera-Bello (Spa); -16 A Quiros (Spa), Byeong-hun An (Kor); -15 R McIlroy (NI), H Stenson (Swe). Selected others:-14 T Hatton (Eng), C Wood (Eng); -12 E Els (SA)