Rory McIlroy retained the lead on the Dubai Invitational regardless of making a quadruple bogey throughout his second spherical on the DP World Tour occasion.
The Northern Irishman’s two-shot benefit may have been far higher had it not been for the seven he made on the par-three eighth gap, the place the world No 2 twice discovered the water.
McIlroy responded resolutely to the one dropped photographs of his opening two rounds on the Dubai Creek Resort, making three birdies on the again 9 to complete one-under for the spherical and transfer 10-under for the event.
Denmark’s Jeff Winther shot a five-under par 66 to maneuver right into a share of second alongside Germany’s Yannik Paul, whereas McIlroy’s Ryder Cup team-mate Tommy Fleetwood is amongst a gaggle of 5 gamers at seven-under.
Having produced a powerful 62 on Thursday, McIlroy picked up the place he left off as birdies on the third and fourth holes took him to -11.
Nevertheless, catastrophe struck on the 214-yard eighth as McIlroy got here up quick and located the water, earlier than repeating the error from the drop zone, which was about 75 yards nearer to the inexperienced.
After discovering the inexperienced on the third try, McIlroy would two-putt for a seven that might quickly take him out of the lead.
A par to shut out the entrance 9 adopted earlier than McIlroy acquired again on observe through the use of his energy to make birdies on the par-five tenth and thirteenth holes.
There was to be no repeat of his par-three woes on the sixteenth, with McIlroy rolling in a 30-foot putt to make a remaining birdie, taking him again beneath par for the spherical.
“If I take a look at the opposite 17 holes that I performed, I performed very, very nicely once more, hit some good iron photographs and performed not too dissimilarly to the best way I performed yesterday,” McIlroy stated.
“I possibly holed a pair extra putts yesterday, however the situations had been getting somewhat trickier, the wind was up, the greens had been agency.
“And a few miscues on the eighth gap. I felt like I did nicely simply to get my head again into it and play some stable golf on the best way in.
“Everybody appeared to seek out it somewhat tougher immediately than yesterday, so it is good to enter the weekend nonetheless with the lead.”
The event incorporates a 72-hole stroke play event performed alongside a three-day pro-am workforce occasion, with no minimize and solely the professionals enjoying on Sunday.
Having opened with a 66, Fleetwood, who began his spherical from the tenth, additionally needed to be affected person after two bogeys meant he had misplaced floor on the flip.
The Englishman discovered a powerful end with three birdies in his remaining six holes to climb the leaderboard and set up himself as McIlroy’s most notable challenger for the weekend.
England’s Jordan Smith can also be among the many group on -7, together with Denmark’s Thorbjorn Olesen and South African duo Thriston Lawrence and Zander Lombard.
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