Dubai: Luke Donald birdied the 18th hole to share a second-round lead with Rory McIlroy and Marc Warren on 11 under-par 133 at the DP World Tour Championship in Dubai on Friday.
Having started day two as the overnight leader with a clean seven-under-par 65 on Thursday, Donald consolidated his good start with a faultless 68.
Meanwhile, McIlroy and Warren, tied for second after their six-under-par 66 along with Gonzalo Fernandez Castano after day one, reduced Donald’s one-shot deficit by the close of play on day two with identical 67s, both bogeying once.
Castano level-parred on day two and now finds himself down the pecking order, tied for 23rd on six under par 66-72 .
Meanwhile, Branden Grace and Louis Oosthuizen sit tied for second a shot off the lead on 134. Grace added to his first-round 69 with a 65, bogeying once, to climb from tied for 21st after day one.
Oosthuizen moved up from being tied for fifth by replicating his first-round 67, cancelling out an early bogey with an eagle on the 14th.
Richie Ramsey and Charl Schwartzel sit in joint third place at nine under, two off the pace, after respective rounds of 67-68 and 68-67. Ramsey’s risen from tied for fifth and Schwartzel has made it up from joint 11th.
Donald said: “I haven’t dropped a shot in 36 holes, so I feel quite good about that. I didn’t put myself in too much trouble today, but when I gave myself a little bit of trouble over the course, I was able to recover with the putter.
“It’s the last tournament of the year, we are looking forward to going out on a high note, and obviously Rory is playing well. So it should make for a fun weekend.
“It would be very nice to win the last event of the year and finish it off in some style, and hopefully I can do that on Sunday afternoon.”
McIlroy said: “I played well. I continued driving the ball really well today and gave myself plenty of opportunities. I missed a couple of short ones on the front nine for birdies, but apart from that, it was a very solid round of golf and I’m obviously in a good position going into the weekend.
“I think I could have been a couple of shots better out there, but you know, tied for the lead going into the last 36 is a great position.”
The Northern Irishman added: “I’m as motivated as I have been the whole way throughout the season. I’m not going to let it just drop for this week. I want to finish the season with a bang and I’m going in a good position to do that so far.”
Warren, who hasn’t won a tournament since 2007, said: “It’s great to be in contention with guys like this.
“I’ll try and stay patient, keep doing what I’m doing and focus on my game. If I make a bogey or a birdie, it’s down to me; it’s not because of who else is on the leaderboard.”
Leading second-round scores in the $8 million (Dh29.38 million) DP World Tour Championship on Friday at the par-72 Earth Course of Jumeirah Golf Estates:
133 - Rory McIlroy (NIR) 66-67, Luke Donald (ENG) 65-68, Marc Warren (SCO) 66-67
134 - Branden Grace (RSA) 69-65, Louis Oosthuizen (RSA) 67-67
135 - Charl Schwartzel (RSA) 68-67, Richie Ramsay (SCO) 67-68
136 - Danny Willett (ENG) 71-65, Thomas Aiken (RSA) 70-66, Marcus Fraser (AUS) 69-67, Peter Hanson (SWE) 69-67, Rafael Jacquelin (FRA) 69-67, Nicolas Colsaerts (BEL) 68-68, Henrik Stenson (SWE) 68-68, Jamie Donaldson (WAL) 68-68, Justin Rose (ENG) 68-68, Fredrik Andersson-Hed (SWE) 67-69,
137 - Sergio Garcia (ESP) 73-64, Joost Luiten (NED) 69-68, Thongchai Jaidee (THA) 68-69, Scott Jamieson (SCO) 68-69, Martin Kaymer (GER) 67-70,
138 - Marcelo Siem (GER) 73-65, George Coetzee (RSA) 71-67, Romain Wattel (FRA) 70-68, Simon Dyson (ENG) 69-69, Stephen Gallacher (SCO) 68-70, Padraig Harrington (IRE) 67-71, Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano (ESP) 66-72
139 - Anders Hansen (DEN) 69-70,
140 - Victor Dubuisson (FRA) 71-69, Chris Wood (ENG) 71-69, Rafael Cabrera-Bello (ESP) 70-70, Peter Lawrie (IRE) 68-72, Thorbjorn Olesen (DEN) 68-72
141 - Matteo Manassero (ITA) 73-68, Soren Kjeldsen (DEN) 72-69, Michael Hoey (NIR) 70-71, Lee Westwood (ENG) 67-74,
142 - Alejandro Canizares (ESP) 74-68, Ian Poulter (ENG) 72-70, Bernd Wiesberger (AUT) 72-70, Miguel Angel Jimenez (ESP) 71-71, Jbe Kruger (RSA) 72-70, Robert Rock (ENG) 72-70, Pablo Larrazabal (ESP) 70-72
143 - Francesco Molinari (ITA) 72-71, Paul Lawrie (SCO) 71-72, Alexander Noren (SWE) 70-73