Rory McIlroy: led by two shots with seven holes to go but eventually finished one shot adrift of winner Li Haotong. Photograph: Mahmoud Khaled/EPA

The optimist, or the pessimist? Is the glass half-full, or is it half-empty? Half-full, surely. Rory McIlroy’s return to duty in the desert, firstl(...)

Sergio Garcia of Spain celebrates after winning the final round of the Omega Dubai Desert Classic. Photograph: Getty Images

Spain’s Sergio Garcia led from start to finish to claim his 12th European Tour title, and first for three years, in impressive fashion in the Omega Du(...)

Players walk up the eighth fairway as strong wind blows sand across the hole during the second round of the Omega Dubai Desert Classic. Photograph: Little/Getty Images

Ryder Cup team-mates Martin Kaymer and Rafa Cabrera Bello set the early clubhouse target before play was abandoned in the Omega Dubai Desert Classic. (...)

 Tiger Woods has withdrawn from the Dubai Desert Classic with a “bad back”, the European Tour has announced. Photograph: PA

Back spasms have forced Tiger Woods to withdraw from the Omega Dubai Desert Classic, just his third event since August 2015. The 41-year-old has had (...)

Tiger Woods has withdrawn from the Dubai Desert Classic with an apparent back injury after shooting an opening-round 5-over 77. Photograph: AP

Former world number one Tiger Woods has withdrawn from the Omega Dubai Desert Classic before the start of his second round due to a back injury. Wood(...)

Tiger Woods during the first round of the Omega Dubai Desert Classic on Thursday. Photograph: Warren Little/Getty Images

Hopes of Tiger Woods playing on into the weekend at the Dubai Desert Classic aren’t yet in vain. The problem is, they mainly depend on the severity of(...)

Tiger Woods  plays his second shot on the eighth hole during the pro-am for the 2017 Omega Dubai Desert Classic on the Majlis Course at the Emirates Golf Club. Photograph: David Cannon/Getty Images

Much has changed in Tiger Woods since his years of dominance were ended by drama and injury, but his mindset is one thing that remains. In Dubai on W(...)

Rory McIlroy plays a shot during the first round of the Omega Dubai Desert Classic at the Emirates Golf Club in Dubai. Photograph: Photograph: Ali Haider/EPA

The most effective way for Ernie Els to prevent Rory McIlroy from matching a record of three Dubai Desert Classic victories is by lifting the giant t(...)

Rory McIlroy has made a strong start in the Dubai Desert Classic, sitting one shot off the lead after an opening round of 66. (Photo by Warren Little/Getty Images)

For Rory McIlroy, the challenge now is to improve on what was one of precious few tournament disappointments in 2014. In the case of Andy Sullivan, mo(...)