McIlroy pulls out of Dubai Desert Classic

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Rory McIlroy has withdrawn from the Dubai Desert Classic as he continues to recover from a stress fracture of the ribs.

The Northern Irishman sustained the setback while playing at the South Africa Open earlier this month, where he finished runner-up to Graeme Storm following a play-off.

McIlroy is a two-time winner of the event in Dubai, topping the leaderboard in 2009 and 2015.

The 27-year-old sat out last week's Abu Dhabi Championship with the issue and the European Tour confirmed on Monday that he would remain out of action.

This year's tournament would have seen world number two McIlroy pitted against 14-time major champion Tiger Woods - also a two-time winner of the event.