European Tour

Stenson in halfway Dubai lead

2014-11-21 22:02
Henrik Stenson (AP Photo)

Dubai - Henrik Stenson continued his amazing dominance at the Earth course of Jumeirah Golf Estates as his 11th consecutive round in the 60s gave him a two-shot lead halfway through the $8 million DP World Tour Championship Friday.

The Swede, who is also a brand ambassador for the golf course, shot a six-under par 66 round in the second round and is now 10-under par after 36 holes.

Overnight joint leader and world number one Rory McIlroy was among three players at eight-under par 136.

The Northern Irishman struggled a bit and then hit his tee shot into the water hazard on the 18th hole in his round of two-under par 70.

Also at 136 were Scotland's Rishi Ramsay (69) and England's Danny Willett (67).

Spain's Rafael Cabrera-Bello shot the lowest round of the day - an eight-under par 64 - to join Ireland's Shane Lowry (71), the overnight leader alongside McIlroy, England's Justin Rose (66), Sweden's Kristoffer Broberg (67) and Denmark's Olesen (70) at tied fifth place at 137.

Defending champion Stenson, who won the tournament last year with a record tally of 25-under par, made just one mistake early in his round, when he dropped a shot on the long par-3 fourth hole, but putted beautifully to make amends with seven birdies, including a brilliant two-putt birdie from 80-feet on the final hole.

The 38-year-old has played 18 rounds in the tournament so far (he did not qualify in 2011) and has 17 sub-par rounds. His worst score is a 73 in the final round of the 2010 edition.

And Stenson said: "I just came in knowing that I have got a good gameplan to play this golf course and I'm trying to stick to that one. So far, so good. I am not making any changes really and hopefully I keep on producing birdies.

"I was hitting it all right, but I was good on the greens today. Made some nice putts all day long and that really helps. The one I made on 16 and the one on 18, were nine. It was a pretty solid round of golf, but more than anything, it was made up on the greens."

McIlroy started with a birdie, but then did not make another until the 14th hole. In between, on the par-5 seventh hole, he hit an embarrassing second shot with a five-wood - a fat, ugly duckhook.

"I guess I wasn't really hitting it close enough and then when I did give myself some opportunities, I didn't make them. I just found it hard to sort of get any momentum going out there," said McIlroy.

"The birdies on 14 and 15 were really nice, and then to give them away easily with a three?putt on 16 was frustrating. To bounce back on 17 was good, and it would have been nice to birdie the last, but after where I hit my tee shot, I'll settle for a par."

Willett also hit his tee shot into the water on the 18th, but then made an up-and-down from 250 yards for a birdie and a round of 67.

And the Englishman, who finished tied fourth last week in Turkey said: "Obviously, Saturdays and Sundays always feel that little bit more difficult when you're up there. I have just got to keep playing good golf and staying patient, that's the main thing, really."

Ramsay was pleased with his effort, which included an eagle on the 14th hole.

"Really pleasing...69 is a good score. Nice little eagle on 14 kept me going," said the Scotsman.

"But the most important thing, second day in a row, the attitude was really good. I am really pleased with that."

Leading second-round scores in the $8 million DP World Tour Championship on Friday at the par-72 Earth Course of Jumeirah Golf Estates:

134 - Henrik Stenson (SWE) 68-66

136 - Danny Willett (ENG) 69-67, Richie Ramsay (SCO) 67-69, Rory McIlroy (NIR) 66-70

137 - Rafael Cabrera-Bello (ESP) 73-64, Justin Rose (ENG) 71-66, Kristoffer Broberg (SWE) 70-67, Thorbjorn Olesen (DEN) 67-70, Shane Lowry (IRL) 66-71

138 - David Howell (ENG) 71-67, Tyrrell Hatton (ENG) 70-68,

139 - Branden Grace (RSA) 72-67, Victor Dubuisson (FRA) 71-68, Robert Karlsson (SWE) 71-68, Hennie Otto (RSA) 71-68, Joost Luiten (NED) 70-69,

140 - Darren Fichardt (RSA) 72-68, Stephen Gallacher (SCO) 72-68, Thomas Bjorn (DEN) 71-69, Pablo Larrazabal (ESP) 71-69, George Coetzee (RSA) 70-70, Louis Ooosthuizen (RSA) 69-71,

141 - Martin Kaymer (GER) 72-69, Romain Wattel (FRA) 71-70, Lee Westwood (ENG) 70-71,

142 - Thomas Aiken (RSA) 76-66, Luke Donald (ENG) 76-66, Marcel Siem (GER) 76-66, Ernie Els (RSA) 75-67, Francesco Molinari (ITA) 73-69, Andy Sullivan (ENG) 73-69, Sergio Garcia (ESP) 73-69, Graeme McDowell (NIR) 72-70, Jamie Donaldson (WAL) 72-70, Bernd Wiesberger (AUT) 72-70, Oliver Fisher (ENG) 72-70, Marc Warren (SCO) 71-71, Ross Fisher (ENG) 69-73,

143 - Simon Dyson (ENG) 73-70, Charl Schwartzel (RSA) 72-71, Alexanddubaier Levy (FRA) 71-72, Edoardo Molinari (ITA) 69-74, Tommy Fleetwood (ENG) 69-74, Emiliano Grillo (ARG) 68-75

144 - Ian Poulter (ENG) 75-69, Wade Ormsby (AUS) 73-71, Thongchai Jaidee (THA) 72-72, Miguel Angel Jimenez (ESP) 71-73, Jonas Blixt (SWE) 70-74

145 - Eddie Pepperell (ENG) 76-69, Nicolas Colsaerts (BEL) 73-72, Fabrizio Zanotti (PAR) 73-72, Richard Sterne (RSA) 71-74,

146 - Brooks Koepka (USA) 78-68

147 - Oliver Wilson (ENG) 75-72, Matteo Manassero (ITA) 75-72,

149 - Matthew Baldwin (ENG) 75-74,

150 - Mikko Ilonen (FIN) 74-76

151 - David Lipsky (USA) 76-75, Michael Hoey (NIR) 73-78

Read more on:    henrik stenson  |  golf

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