Rory McIlroy leaves Dubai with a strong sense of regret

World No 2 finished sixth and was left ruing his performance earlier in the tournament

Rory McIlroy, Dubai,

Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland tees off on the 3rd hole during 3rd round of the Dubai Desert Classic golf tournament in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Saturday, Feb. 6, 2016. (AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili)

Rory McIlroy says his sixth place finish in Dubai is tinged with a sense of regret.

Danny Willett won the Omega Dubai Desert Classic, finishing on 19-under to claim the €402, 670 first prize.

McIlroy finished four shots further back but has been left ruing a second round 72 as he came within striking distance of the lead. 

"It's sort of a week of 'what could have been'. There was a lot of really good golf in there. I played a lot of great shots and made a lot of birdies. But I made just a few too many mistakes," he told Nick Dye of the European Tour.

"I'll rue the two front-nines I played on Friday and Saturday. I played the combined front-nine on 5-over par there and if I hadn't have done that, things could have been different. But I'm encouraged by the good golf that I've played and it's been good because I know what I need to work on heading into the next few weeks."