Tournament: DP World Tour Championship, Dubai
Venue: The Earth Course, Jumeirah Golf Estates
Prize fund: US$8,000,000
Round Two report
Spaniard Sergio Garcia and Italian Francesco Molinari posted matching five under par rounds of 67 to share the halfway lead at the DP World Tour Championship, Dubai.
The pair each carded three birdies on the front nine and added a further three more after the turn, combined with one bogey apiece, to move to nine under par in the European Tour’s season-finale at Jumeirah Golf Estates.
Overnight leader Lee Westwood looked set to make it a three-way tie at the top of the leaderboard, but the Englishman found the water on the 18th hole and finished with a bogey to drop back to eight under par, signing for a round of 70.
Another Englishman, Tyrrell Hatton, birdied the final two holes of the Earth Course for a six under par round of 66 to move to seven under par. The
Alfred Dunhill Links Champion is in a share of fourth place alongside former Masters Champion Charl Schwartzel, who eagled the 14th hole in his round of 67, and Austrian Bernd Wiesberger, who similarly made a three on the 14th before another eagle on the 18th hole capped his round of 67.
Meanwhile, in the contest for the European Tour Number One spot, Alex Noren improved his chances of beating his compatriot, Henrik Stenson, to the Race to Dubai crown with a round of 69 which moved the four-time winner to tied 14th place on four under par.
Noren needs to finish second or better and hope Open Champion Stenson is outside the top eight, but Stenson is monitoring his progress closely after also returning a 69 to sit just one shot behind him on three under par, where he is joined by another Race to Dubai contender, Danny Willett, who carded a 70.
Sergio Garcia: “I played nicely. Obviously I didn’t hit a good tee shot on 12 and 13. And I could have made some more putts, but it’s not easy, when you’re having 12, 15, 18-footers. You’re going to miss some of them. We’ll probably have to finish below 16-under par I’m guessing, so unless it gets really windy, which it doesn’t look like it’s going to happen, I’m going to have to keep firing and hitting good shots and making good putts.
“I’m excited for the weekend. It’s good to be out there with a chance in the last tournament of the year. I just want to make sure that I keep playing the same way I’ve played these first two days and see where that takes us. We are all trying to get into contention as much as possible so when you get yourself into position for the weekend you want to try and take that opportunity as often as you can.”
“It was another good day. I played well. Maybe yesterday the start was even better, but I played solid pretty much all the round. I had I think a little lapse in concentration on the 10th and then recovered well, and, it’s another solid round. I’m happy where I am after two rounds. I holed a good putt for birdie on 14, and it kick-started a few holes where I hit some really good shots and made some nice birdies. I had a nice recovery on 17 from the bunker, and then on 18, I hit two good shots and just a poor shot into the green, which is a shame, because it was a pretty good yardage going in. All in all, it’s fine. It’s really hot out there, so it’s tough to keep your focus for 18 holes.
“I’m in a good position going into the weekend. It’s only halfway obviously, but it’s nice to keep building after good round yesterday as well.”
“I played nicely again. I hit the ball pretty solid and gave myself a lot of chances. Thought scoring was a bit tricky today for some reason. Some of the flags were tucked. Some were easy and you could go at them, but it’s a good score.
I was extremely patient. I was hitting it close but not close enough; I was hitting it to 20 feet a lot, and those are tough to make on these greens. I think 70 is a more than good score.
“I am looking forward to the weekend. There’s always a low score around this golf course. That’s the great thing about it; if you play well it gives you a chance to score low, and if you don’t, anybody can shoot 75 or 76. It’s very fair in that regard. You’ve just got to hit a lot of fairways, hit it close as often as you can.”
Round two scores
135 F Molinari (Ita) 68 67, S Garcia (Esp) 68 67,
136 L Westwood (Eng) 66 70,
137 T Hatton (Eng) 71 66, C Schwartzel (RSA) 70 67, J Luiten (Ned) 68 69, B Wiesberger (Aut) 70 67,
138 N Colsaerts (Bel) 67 71, M Fitzpatrick (Eng) 69 69,
139 S Kjeldsen (Den) 70 69, B An (Kor) 70 69, N Elvira (Esp) 70 69, V Dubuisson (Fra) 70 69,
140 R Sterne (RSA) 70 70, J Van Zyl (RSA) 69 71, A Noren (Swe) 71 69,
141 S Lowry (Irl) 70 71, T Olesen (Den) 71 70, R Gouveia (Por) 72 69, H Stenson (Swe) 72 69, D Willett (Eng) 71 70, T Fleetwood (Eng) 70 71,
142 P Larrazábal (Esp) 71 71, G Coetzee (RSA) 72 70, A Levy (Fra) 69 73, A Sullivan (Eng) 76 66, R Cabrera Bello (Esp) 71 71, R Karlberg (Swe) 72 70,
143 R Jacquelin (Fra) 72 71, R Paratore (Ita) 70 73, M Ilonen (Fin) 70 73, R McIlroy (Nir) 75 68, K Aphibarnrat (Tha) 69 74, P Harrington (Irl) 72 71, L Oosthuizen (RSA) 69 74, M Fraser (Aus) 69 74, D Lipsky (USA) 72 71, J Quesne (Fra) 67 76, J Lagergren (Swe) 74 69, D Horsey (Eng) 72 71, J Campillo (Esp) 72 71, R Fisher (Eng) 72 71,
144 L Haotong (Chn) 74 70, T Pieters (Bel) 72 72, S Lee (Kor) 71 73, T Jaidee (Tha) 74 70,
145 S Hend (Aus) 72 73, G Bourdy (Fra) 72 73, A Cañizares (Esp) 73 72, M Kaymer (Ger) 71 74,
146 B Grace (RSA) 72 74, M Southgate (Eng) 72 74,
147 B Stone (RSA) 74 73, C Wood (Eng) 75 72, J Wang (Kor) 75 72, R Bland (Eng) 71 76, B Dredge (Wal) 72 75, F Aguilar (Chi) 74 73,
148 A Johnston (Eng) 78 70,
150 R Wattel (Fra) 82 68,