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Published: 12:09 | 6/2/16

Superb back nine for McIlroy

Defending champ hits six birdies

Rory McIlroy looks set to relinquish his Dubai Desert Classic title but enjoyed a fantastic back nine at the Emirates Golf Club on Saturday.

The Northern Irishman has excelled following the turn in each of his three rounds in Dubai but performed particularly well on the third day, scoring six birdies and three pars.

However, McIlroy's hopes of retaining his crown had effectively been ended earlier.

One-up for the round following a three at the par-four second, the world number two hit a bogey-four at the eighth, before scoring a six for a double-bogey at the ninth.

Danny Willett leads the pack on 16-under following his second successive round of 65, with Spain's Rafa Cabrera-Bello second, one stroke off the top of the pile.

Willett's fellow Englishman, Andy Sullivan, lies third on 14-under, with Dutchman Joost Luiten (-13) and Haydn Porteous (-12) also very much amongst those in contention.

On par for the tournament, McIlroy's compatriot, Darren Clarke, missed the cut in Dubai.

By David Maher

Johnson tops world rankings

08:28 | 20/2/17

Dustin Johnson is the new world number one following his victory at the Genesis Open in California.

Harrington and Johnson in the hunt

08:45 | 17/2/17

Padraig Harrington is just three shots off the lead held by Sam Saunders following the first round of the Genesis Open in California.

Back problems continue for Woods

12:12 | 15/2/17

Tiger Woods has been "advised by doctors to limit all activities" as he tries to recover from the back spasms which forced him out of this week's Genesis Open.

Injury forces Woods withdrawals

16:35 | 10/2/17

Tiger Woods has withdrawn from next week's Genesis Open and the Honda Classic a fortnight later as he struggles with "ongoing back spasms".

Lowry, Power start well at AT&T

09:59 | 10/2/17

Shane Lowry and Seamus Power both made fine starts to a rain-affected first day at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am.

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