DUBAI // It was a strange experience for Rory McIlroy last night - going to bed without being in the lead in the Omega Dubai Desert Classic. The young Northern Irishman was never headed after posting an opening 64 on the way to his sparkling victory here last year and he was one of six names setting the first round pace this time round. It appeared as though he was going to be out on his own again yesterday lunchtime as stood on the tee of his closing hole, the ninth, the only player in the tournament at that stage to have taken his aggregate total to eight under par. A frustrating 15 minutes later he watched his putt to salvage a bogey lip out and found himself trailing rather than leading his surprised playing partner Miguel Angel Jimenez. McIlroy lamented a seven iron out of clinging rough which he did not catch sweetly enough for it to clear the lake protecting the green and his ensuing chip under penalty finished five feet away. Undeterred by that late double-bogey blow, which spoiled what had been shaping up to be another creditable 68, McIlroy remains upbeat about his prospects of a Majlis double. "It's always disappointing when you make your only mistake on the last hole but if I go out tomorrow and make two birdies on the first two holes then it's all forgotten," he said. "Apart from that one error I've got to consider this another good day's works because I made a few birdies [four] in conditions that are still pretty tricky and I could easily have made a couple more. I felt I got the pace of the greens better today than yesterday which is encouraging." McIlroy was speaking with more half the field still to complete their second rounds and he was expecting more than just four players to be in front of him going into today's third round. He was impressed with his first-hand view of Jimenez's performance as the 46-year-old Spaniard finished with five-under-par for the day. "He's great from tee to green and he's a pretty tough character so when he gets up there he is going to be hard to beat."
- Most Viewed
- Most Commented
- ‘Going to be a brilliant game’ with Chelsea, declares Rodgers
- Manchester United require ‘radical surgery’ from top to bottom
- Yesterday’s man Moyes left in the dust during defeat at Everton
- ‘There’s oil in the engine again’ with Ozil and Ramsey back, says Wenger
- Sterling’s silver service sets table for Liverpool win over Norwich City
- Most Viewed
- Most Commented
- History shines light on the true borders of Palestine
- American ‘has UAE Embassy documents’ to back up medicinal marijuana claim
- Nakheel to sell plots for hotels and resorts on Dubai’s Deira Islands
- UAE’s healthcare system must grant equitable access to all
- FNC member says unmarried UAE women creating ‘financial burden’
IPL Day 5 action in Sharjah
Images from the fifth day of the Indian Premier League in the UAE on Sunday, with Kings XI Punjab beating Rajasthan Royals by seven wickets with eight balls remaining.
In pictures: Sterling, Suarez inch Liverpool closer to title
Raheem Sterling, with a double, and Luis Suarez accounted for all three goals in Liverpool’s 3-2 away win over Norwich City on Sunday, leaving them five points up on Chelsea with three left to play.
Benching Harper sends Williams’s right message the wrong way
Matt Williams, the Washington Nationals manager, made the biggest move of his 18-game tenure on Saturday, benching rising star Bryce Harper for his “lack of hustle”.
Arsenal maintain push for top-four finish with victory at Hull
Hull could end up in Europe regardless of the FA Cup final result if Arsenal finish in the Uefa Champions League places
Hard-hitting Chennai not deterred by opening loss in IPL
But some questions remain about the team's attack ahead of Monday's match against Delhi Daredevils in Abu Dhabi, writes Osman Samiuddin.
Wawrinka backhands Federer aside at Monte Carlo Masters
Stanislas Wawrinka won the Monte Carlo Masters for the first time after rallying to beat Roger Federer 4-6, 7-6, 6-2 in a rare all-Swiss final.