McIlroy and Donald lead the way in Dubai
The world's top two ranked players, Rory McIlroy and Luke Donald, were involved in a three-way tie at the top of the leaderboard at the halfway stage of the US$8 million DP World Tour Championship yesterday.
At the Earth course of Jumeirah Golf Estates, world number one McIlroy and number-two ranked Donald were joined at 11-under-par 133 by Scotland's world No 189 Marc Warren.
McIlroy (67) was unable to take sole possession of the lead when he failed to make a birdie on the final hole, which was played from the forward tee and reachable in two, while Donald (68) joined him and Warren (67) on top with a textbook birdie on the par-five hole.
The leading trio were one shot ahead of the South African duo of world number six Louis Oosthuizen (67) and Branden Grace (65).
McIlroy, who complained of having a massive headache the previous night, said he felt all right on the golf course as he mixed six birdies with a solitary bogey on the fourth hole.
"I didn't feel great last night, but I felt much better this morning and felt nearly 100 per cent on the golf course," said the 23-year-old. "I guess it's just us Irish and the skin just not used to this sort of sun. That's my excuse anyway.
"I played well. I continued to drive the ball really well and gave myself plenty of opportunities. It was a solid round and obviously, puts me in a good position going into the weekend.
"I am as motivated as I have been the whole year and I am not going to let it drop just for this week."
The round of the day belonged to Sergio Garcia.
The Spaniard matched the course record of eight-under-par 64, but that included a triple bogey, two bogeys, two eagles and nine birdies. He did not make a single par on the back nine.