Dubai: Thomas Detry kept up his blemish-free Omega Dubai Desert Classic at Emirates Golf Club to hold a one-stroke lead at the halfway point on Friday evening.
The Belgian, ranked No. 86 in the world, carded his second consecutive 67 to move on to 10-under, one ahead of Scotland’s Robert MacIntyre, who also went bogey-free for a 68.
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England’s Tommy Fleetwood is tied for third on eight-under alongside Kalle Samooja of Finland, and South Africa’s Justin Harding (RSA). Lee Westwood, Paul Casey Kurt Kitayama and Mikko Korhonen round out the top 10, all on seven-under.
“The first thing that comes to my mind is I am bogey-free, on this course. That’s a pretty good achievement. Let’s keep it that way,” Detry said. “I’ve been playing some really good golf, keeping it on the fairway and hitting every single green and getting up-and-down a couple of times. So I’m very pleased.
“It would be extra special to win. I’m moving here in a couple weeks, as well, so this is my new residence. So winning at home would be amazing.”
MacIntyre and Detry began the day three strokes behind overnight leader Richard Sterne.
“It wasn’t as pretty as yesterday’s round, if I’m being honest. I wasn’t as solid. But that’s the way golf is,” the 24-year-old Scotsman said. “You can’t have a 72-hole tournament where you hit it absolutely perfectly. But I hung in there and I putted great.”
Tyrrell Hatton bounced back from an opening-round 76 with eight birdies and an eagle for an eight-under 64 to easily make the cut and move into contention for back-to-back titles on the European Tour. Hatton, who won in Abu Dhabi last week to move up to a career-high No. 5 in the world, was four-under overall - six strokes behind Detry.
Earlier, Martin Kaymer revealed he sought the advice of Ernie Els in regards to the remainder of his golfing career.
Kaymer has not tasted victory since the second of his Major victories at the US Open in 2014 but moved into contention at Emirates Golf Club following a solid 70 on Friday to sit four shots behind leader Detry.
The 36-year-old German opened up after mixing three birdies and one dropped shot in his second round.
Kaymer admitted he picked the mind of four-time Major champion Els, who has 28 European Tour wins to his name, for his thoughts.
“My putting has been really good over the last couple of days,” Kaymer said. “Yesterday I saved my score a lot, ball-striking hasn’t really been like me so I needed to have something in my game that saved the rounds and yesterday was putting and today was more solid but I would say my short game has been quite sharp.
“Finding a balance in your life, the life that we live can be really complicated and because of so many options.
“You need to stick to one decision and really focus on that thing and sometimes you can get sidetracked a little bit, you can play here and you can play there, and then the practice suffers a little bit and the little sharpness in all departments suffers a little bit.
“I talked to Ernie about it today and I asked him if he was in my position being 36, what would he recommend to me?
“He just said sharpen up all parts of the game a little bit, so that even if you don’t have a great week and you still finish in the top 15-20, that sharpness of those little parts of the game (remains).
“That is difficult when you are playing all around the world and that sidetracked me a little bit. So I need to work a little bit, but I enjoy the work.”
1 Thomas Detry (BEL) -10
2 Robert MacIntyre (SCO) -9
3 Kalle Samooja (FIN) -8
Tommy Fleetwood (ENG) -8
Justin Harding (RSA) -8
6 Adri Arnaus (ESP) -7
Lee Westwood (ENG) -7
Paul Casey (ENG) -7
Kurt Kitayama (USA) -7
Mikko Korhonen (FIN) -7