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Back-nine tumble costs Rory McIlroy

Updated: February 2, 2014, 12:43 PM ET
By Bob Harig | ESPN.com

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates -- The desert turned out to be anything but an oasis for Rory McIlroy, his return to glory all but a mirage.

One bad round does not a season make, and there is plenty of evidence to suggest that McIlroy is on the way back from a dreadful 2013 that saw him fall hard from his perch atop the world rankings.

But Sunday had to hurt.

With an excellent chance to win one of the European Tour's biggest tournaments, McIlroy ...

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