Sports & General

McIlroy shakes off quadruple-bogey to stay ahead in Dubai

Rory McIlroy maintained his two-shot lead at the Dubai Invitational with a one-under-par second round of 70, despite hitting a quadruple bogey at the Dubai Creek Resort on Friday.

McIlroy started out two shots ahead of Yannik Paul after carding an opening nine-under-par 62, but having begun the second round with two early birdies the eighth hole threatened to undo all his good work.

The world number two twice hit the water to card a quadruple bogey seven on the par-three hole, before three birdies on the back nine kept the Northern Irishman at the top of the leaderboard.

Paul kept pace with McIlroy despite making three bogeys on the front nine, also carding 70 to stay two shots off the lead, and the German was joined in second place by Jeff Winther of Denmark.

Winther shot the joint lowest round of the day with a five-under-par 65, and only a bogey on the final hole deprived him of outright second place.

“I’m surprised, I haven’t played since Mauritius, first ball I hit was here on Monday, quite hungover, so I’m very, very pleased,” Winther said after celebrating his wife’s birthday at the weekend.

Tommy Fleetwood, Thorbjorn Olesen and Thriston Lawrence remained three shots off the lead, and were joined by Jordan Smith and Zander Lombard on seven-under-par.

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