Final-hole blip prices McIlroy lead in Dubai


DUBAI:

Rory McIlroy suffered a disappointing double-bogey on the closing par-5 gap to fall from a one-shot result in one behind the leaders on the midway stage of the European’s Tour’s season-ending DP World Tour Championship on Friday.

The 32-year-old Northern Irishman, winner of the event in 2012 and 2015, was four-under-par by means of 17 holes and 11-under whole. On the par-5 18th, the place a stream bisects the green, McIlroy’s tee shot rolled into the proper fairway bunker.

From up towards the bunker wall, he wanted to put up, however his third shot from 211 yards hit the financial institution and rolled again into the water hazard at Jumeirah Golf Estates.

As McIlroy slipped to joint fourth place at nine-under-par, it left three gamers tied for the lead at 10-under — England’s Sam Horsfield (66), Ireland’s Shane Lowry (65) and American John Catlin (65).

And whereas that’s the battle for the $three million profitable cheque, the Race to Dubai tilted firmly in favour of American Collin Morikawa, who birdied the 18th and moved to eight-under par total.

His nearest challenger, compatriot Billy Horschel, shot a two-under 70, however was 10 behind the leaders in tied 43rd place.

Lowry, the 2019 Open champion at Royal Portrush, chipped in for an unlikely eagle on the par-5 14th gap in a bogey-free spherical.

“I feel like my game is in good shape and I feel like I know my way around this place and I know how to play here,” mentioned Lowry.

“For me personally, it’s two more days left and then ends of a long year and a half. I’m looking forward to giving everything and leaving it on the course this weekend and hopefully, I’m there near the top of the leaderboard come Sunday afternoon.”

Horsfield put collectively a masterclass of lag placing as he birdied 5 successive holes from the sixth onwards. Two late bogeys denied him sole possession of the lead.

“It was nice. I feel like I’ve been playing pretty well and I just haven’t been scoring great. I made five birdies in a row, and it was really nice to see some putts drop there. I had a little wobble, 16 and 17, but to birdie the 18th was great,” mentioned the Englishman, winner of two titles on the European Tour throughout the UK swing final yr.

“I’ve definitely given myself a lot of opportunities the last two days and I just want to continue to do the same thing.”

Catlin, winner of the Austrian Open this yr, was strong all through his spherical and made 5 birdies on the again 9. A sudden nosebleed denied him a sixth birdie on the 17th gap, the place he was placing from eight toes.

“I have had these in dry places. It’s nothing serious, but you don’t want to stand over a putt with your nose bleeding,” mentioned Catlin.

Sweden’s Alexander Bjork shares fourth place with McIlroy after a 67. Morikawa was in a share of sixth place with Germany’s former world No1 Martin Kaymer (68).

McIlroy, for whom it was the 37th sub-par spherical on the Earth course in 42 makes an attempt, mentioned of his misfortune on the 18th: “Hit a great drive down there yesterday. It’s a snug tee shot for me. It was enjoying barely again into the wind and I hit that tee shot rather well. I didn’t count on it to go so far as it did and stand up into the face of the bunker.

“Even that was fine. And then the third shot, I hit a really good shot. That part of the fairway was just sort of thatchy and it came up spinny into the wind. I hit a good golf shot and felt like I didn’t deserve to be in the water. A 70 was the worst I could have shot.”

McIlroy is paired with Morikawa for the third spherical.

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