Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship presented by EGA: Day 2 as it happened - Lowry maintains lead from Oosthuizen and Sterne
All news from the second round of the European Tour event at Abu Dhabi Golf Club as the field look to close in on leader Lowry after his opening round 62 gave him a three-shot overnight lead
18.35 Wrapping up the day
So that is Day 2 of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship presented by EGA done and dusted.
Shane Lowry started the day with a three-shot lead, but the Irishman ends it with that lead down to just one.
He carded 70 to be -12, with South Africans Louis Oosthuizen and Richard Sterne right behind him.
Lee Westwood is on his own at -10, with the quartet of Ian Poulter, Scott Jamieson, Tom Lewis and Soren Kjeldsen all on -9, three shots off Lowry.
There are 22 players in total covered by five shots at the top and the weekend's action should be fascinating.
Keep an eye on the website for the pairings and tee times for Round 3, and join us from 9am on Friday for all the action from the third round.
17.55 Sterne closes in
A birdie on the 18th means that Richard Sterne joins his South African compatriot Louis Oosthuizen on -11, one shot off leader Shane Lowry.
Soren Kjeldsen is still on the course on -9 with two to play and the Dane is the only player left who could still impact on the top of the standings.
The best rounds of the days have come from Scotsman Grant Forrest and Australian Lucas Herbert. They both hit 65 and are in a tie for ninth on -8.
17.40 Lowry finishes at the top
Shane Lowry is set to lead the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship presented by EGA into Friday's third day.
He has finished his second round on -12 after scoring 70. While some way behind his 62 on Wednesday it is still enough for him to be one shot ahead of South Africa's Louis Oosthuizen.
Oosthuizen's South African compatriot Richard Sterne still has two holes to play on -10 and still has the chance to make an in-road into Lowry's lead.
Also still on the course is Soren Kjeldsen who is on -9 with three holes to play.
The projected cut is at -2. Tommy Fleetwood and Dustin Johnson flirted with missing it, but both have survived to make the final two rounds. But Henrik Stenson and Tyrrell Hatton are among those to be set to be heading home early.
16.55 Fleetwood saves himself from elimination
The 18th at Abu Dhabi Golf Club has been a happy hunting ground for Tommy Fleetwood as he won the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship presented by EGA in both 2017 and last year.
This year has not gone quite so well for the Englishman but he has just enjoyed another fine moment at the 18th as he birdied it to almost certainly ensure his participation in the weekend's event.
The projected cut is -2, the score Fleetwood had been on. But he sank his birdie putt, from around 10 feet, to move up to -3.
That leaves him nine shots behind leader Shane Lowry, who is on -12 and has two holes to play.
16.35 Lowry stays ahead as Johnson finds some form
He began the day by losing two shots but overnight leader Shane Lowry has bounced back with four birdies, his latest coming at the 15th.
That keeps him ahead on -12, with Louis Oosthuizen getting a birdie on the 18th to finish on -11 and be the new clubhouse leader.
Quietly world No 2 Brooks Koepka has moved into contention on -8, picking up three shots in his second round.
Meanwhile, Dustin Johnson had been in danger of missing the cut, which is at -2, but birdies at the 15th and 17th holes have put the American up to -4 with one hole to play.
But defending champion Tommy Fleetwood must birdie the final hole to stay in the tournament. He is on -2, and is one over for the day, a bogey on the 14th putting him over the threshold as things stand.
Henrik Stenson has birdied the last, but it looks like it will be not enough to save the Swede as he has finished on -2.
15.55 Lowry back in front as Fleetwood and Stenson hit trouble
He started the day at the top and Shane Lowry is back in front. A birdie at the 11th moves the Irishman to -11, one ahead of Lee Westwood.
But there is major drama brewing at the other end of the leaderboard as defending champion Tommy Fleetwood and 2016 British Open winner Henrik Stenson could both miss the cut.
The cut has been set at present at -2 and both Fleetwood and Stenson are on that score at present. Fleetwood, who is one over for the day, has four holes to go, while Stenson has three.
World No 3 Dustin Johnson has just moved out of the drop zone to -3 after getting a birdie at the 15th, but the American cannot afford to relax.
15.10 Oosthuizen drops back
We are back to having just two players in front. Lee Westwood and Shane Lowry share top spot on -10.
Louis Oosthuizen was with them but has now dropped to -8 after starting his back nine with successive bogies at the 10th and 11th holes.
Last year's runner-up Ross Fisher is starting to make a move. He is three under through nine holes, leaving him on -6 for the tournament.
14.35 Level pegging at top of the leaderboard
We know have three names at the top of the standings on -10. Lee Westwood is in the clubhouse on that score, while Louis Oosthuizen is on the ninth hole and Shane Lowry has just finished his eighth hole.
Oosthuizen is three under for the day, but Lowry has had a more lively day, dropping two shots before getting them back.
Further back it has been underwhelming for Brooks Koepka who is still on -5, having started the day there, while Dustin Johnson and both Tommy Fleetwood are both on -3.
13.45 Oosthuizen on the charge
When Louis Oosthuizen double bogeyed his third hole on Wednesday to be +2 for the tournament even he probably did not think his prospects were looking great.
Yet fast forward 24 hours and the South African is now one shot off the lead on -9 after seven holes of his second round.
He has picked up two shots on Thursday after his opening round 65 and is in a group with Ian Poulter, Scott Jamieson and Tom Lewis who are all one shot off leader Lee Westwood.
Meanwhile, overnight leader Shane Lowry is definitely struggling to match his efforts from Wednesday.
Bogeys at the second and third have dropped him back to -8.
13.15 Lowry drops first shot of the tournament
If Wednesday was a great day for Shane Lowry then Thursday has started with a bump.
A bogey on the second hole has dropped him from his share of the lead with Lee Westwood back to -9.
It is of course early days, and Westwood is finished for the day and in the clubhouse with -10 his score he will start Friday's third round.
Lowry is not the only having early problems. Brooks Koepka, the world No 2, is back to -5 after bogeying the fourth.
13.00 Lowry off to a steady start
As one leader finishes his second round, the other one begins his one.
Lee Westwood is the early clubhouse leader on -10 after his round of 68. That puts him in a share of top spot with Ireland's Shane Lowry, who has just begun his second round with a par.
Three players are one adrift on -9. They are Ian Poulter, Scott Jamieson and Tom Lewis. The first two have finished their round, with Lewis on his final hole.
World No 2 Brooks Koepka has birdied the second hole to move up to -6, but it has been a bad start for defending champion Tommy Fleetwood.
He bogeyed the first hole and is now eight shots off the lead on -2.
12.05 Westwood and Poulter trade places
Just as the afternoon pairings are preparing to start their second rounds there has been some movement at the top of the leaderboard.
Ian Poulter, who had been co-leader with Shane Lowry, dropped a shot at his final hole to fall back to -9.
But Lowry has now been joined at the top by Lee Westwood after the Englishman birdied his 17th hole.
Lowry goes out at 12.25pm to start his round.
Dustin Johnson, the world No 3, is now out on the course, with Brooks Koepka and Tommy Fleetwood starting their respective rounds now.
11.50 Forrest's fine form
It is Grant Forrest who is on course for best round of the day so far.
The Scotsman on his final hole of the second round and is seven under so far, an effort that has moved him to -8.
Co-leader Ian Poulter is on his final hole as well. He is on -10 with Shane Lowry, who starts his round in 35 minutes.
The leaderboard is nicely poised at this stage with 27 players covered by five shots.
11.00 It is Scott Jamieson who continues to make the most progress on the leaderboard.
After completing the front nine in 31 the Scotsman continues his progress with a birdie on the 10th.
He is now on -9, one shot adrift of co-leaders Shane Lowry and Ian Poulter.
Lee Westwood is also up to -9 after picking up a shot at the 13th hole of his round.
Poulter is four under for his second round after 13 holes, but after picking up four shots by his seventh hole, he has since parred his next six holes.
Tight at the top and players to come
10.20 It is the Scottish players who are enjoying the conditions in Abu Dhabi the most this morning.
Both Scott Jamieson and Grant Forrest are both five under in their respective rounds.
Jamieson is now two off co-leaders Shane Lowry and Ian Poulter on -8, while Forrest is in a small group on -6.
Lowry does not start until 12.25pm while Poulter still has nine holes of his second round to go.
World No 2 Brooks Koepka, who shot a 67 on Wednesday, starts at 12.05pm and he is playing alongside defending champion Tommy Fleetwood, who hit a 69 in his first round.
Dustin Johnson, the world No 3, gets underway at 11.55am.
Poulter takes share of the lead
09.40 Well, that overnight lead of Shane Lowry's did not last long as he has been joined at the top by England's Ian Poulter.
Four birdies in the first seven holes of his second round have him level with the Irishman on -10.
Lowry does not start his round until 12.25pm so Poulter has a chance to pull out a lead here.
Lee Westwood and Pablo Larrazabal, who are both also on the course right now, are -8, with Scott Jamieson the only one of the four players on -7 currently in action.
Jamieson is flying
08.55 Best of the early players on the course is Scotland's Scott Jamieson.
He has birdied the second, third and fourth holes of his second round to be three under for the day and -6 for the tournament.
That is four shots off leader Shane Lowry.
Conditions are clearly good for some low scores at Abu Dhabi Golf Club and the question ahead is if anyone can threaten Lowry's record-equalling 62 on Wednesday.
Larrazabal and Poulter on the move
08.40 Shane Lowry's lead at the top of the leaderboard is down to two shots.
A birdie at the second has Pablo Larrazabal up to -8, and he has been joined there by European Ryder Cup star Ian Poulter, who has gained shots at the first and fourth holes of his second round to move up a share of second place.
Lee Westwood is also off to a good start as a birdie on his first hole as him up to -7, three shots behind Lowry, who remember does not tee off until 12.25pm.
Below is a reminder of how things stood overnight on the leaderboard.
Second round action in Abu Dhabi is under way
07.50 Good morning! So here we are on Day 2 of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship presented by EGA and things are well poised for another fascinating day as the opening pairings are already out on the course.
Ireland's Shane Lowry has a three-shot lead after his first round 62 equalled the course record at Abu Dhabi Golf Club to leave him on -10.
Louis Oosthuizen, Mike Lorenzo-Vera, Richard Sterne and Pablo Larrazabal, who are all on -7, are his nearest challengers.
Larrazabal is the first of the leading runners on the course this morning. He tees off at 8am, while Ian Poulter, Lee Westwood and Martin Kaymer, who are all four shots off the pace on -6, have already started their second round.
All the second round tee times can be found here.
Stay with us all day for updates and news on how the day unfolds.
Read more on the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship presented by EGA
Updated: January 17, 2019 06:36 PM