Rafa Cabrera Bello during the Dubai Desert Classic at Emirates Golf Club on Friday
Rafa Cabrera Bello during the Dubai Desert Classic at Emirates Golf Club on Friday Image Credit: AFP

It was a tough day for me in the second round of the Slync.io Dubai Desert Classic on the Majlis Course at Emirates Golf Club.

I managed a four birdie-five bogey round 73 which, along with my first round of 72, left me one-over par after 36 holes and in tied-65th place. So I made the cut — only just, right on the mark.

To summarise my day, I basically struggled on the greens. Perhaps having such a late tee time on day two with the setting sun upset my confidence with the flat stick.

I returned home on Friday night and had a light stretching session in the gym. I am looking forward to my evening meal with the family and some home cooking. Home comforts are one of the reasons why this week is so special.

I have an early tee time on Saturday morning at 7.20am playing alongside Ireland’s 2019 Open champ Shane Lowry and England’s Robert Rock, who won in Abu Dhabi in 2012.

Being in the second match of the day will hopefully see the wind down and the best conditions in the air, on the fairways and the greens. There are only three players ahead of us.

I always enjoy playing with major champions to test my game against theirs and see how they especially get around the golf course, always with strong short games, but perhaps the Majlis Course does not quite mirror Royal Portrush Golf Club, the venue in Northern Ireland of Shane’s 2019 Open Championship victory.

It is interesting to note that the three of us are all winners of DP World Tour events in the UAE — Robert and Shane at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship and me in the 2012 Dubai Desert Classic victory.

Fans are in for a treat early on Saturday with Henrik Stenson in Match 1 at 7.10am.

The third round of a 72-hole event is always referred to ‘Moving Day’. I am feeling strong and energised to have a decent round and to hopefully progress up the leaderboard. I am 12 shots back of the leader, but you never know in this game.