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Li Haotong edges McIlroy in thriller to win Dubai Desert Classic

Li Haotong edged out Rory McIlroy by a single stroke in a thrilling final round at Dubai Desert Classic on Sunday to claim the second European Tour title of his career.

Li put on a late burst to card 69 and finish on 23-under for the tournament with a total of 265, setting a new record to par at Emirates Golf Club in the process by overhauling the mark of 22-under set by Thomas Bjorn in 2001.

The 22-year-old, who claimed his first European Tour title at the 2016 China Open, started the day a stroke ahead of McIlroy, but relinquished the lead in short order with a bogey on the first hole.

The duo then matched each other with birdies on the third and seventh, but McIlroy forged a two-stroke lead after the turn with a birdie on the par-five 10th as Li registered his second bogey of the afternoon.

The Northern Irishman was briefly pegged back after landing in the sand on the par-three 11th, but his two-shot advantage was restored when Li made his third and final bogey on the next hole.








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