Friday, December 09, 2011


FROM THE EUROPEAN TOUR WEBSITE (before the end of play)
Luke Donald was back in control of his own destiny after three closing birdies gave him a second round 68 at the Dubai World Championship presented by DP World.
Needing a top-nine finish to be sure of completing the double of US PGA and European Tour money lists - an unprecedented feat - England's World Number One was down in 31st place when he three-putted the eighth.
But after pars on the next seven holes Donald made 15 foot putts on the 16th and long 18th and in between holed from ten feet.
They brought him into a tie for 12th - still not quite where he wanted to be, but in a position to strike over the weekend.
"Just personally in terms of my mental approach, that was huge," said Donald of a finish that lifted him to four under par, five behind new leader Paul Lawrie, who still had ten holes to play.
He will take The Race to Dubai wherever he finishes if Rory McIlroy, his only remaining challenger, fails to win the tournament, but the Ulsterman still had a great chance of that after birdies at the second and eighth put him in a tie for second, one back.
"It would be foolish of me to rely on him not winning," added Donald. "I know what's at stake and it's big deal to me.
"I was frustrated out there. I tried to stay patient, but it's tough. I want to finish off what I came here to do and those last three holes brought a smile to my face.
"There's certainly a lot of pressure. I'm still making a few mistakes - maybe because of what's at stake. When there's a lot on the line you feel more nervous, but sometimes it's a good thing."
Lawrie took over at the top when he birdied the first two holes and overnight pacesetter Peter Hanson, who had equalled the course record with his 64, bogeyed the third.
When 1999 Open Champion Lawrie almost holed-in-one at the fourth he was three clear, but he followed with three pars and McIlroy birdied the eighth to get closer and Hanson was two back again as well when he picked up his first stroke of the day on the long seventh.
Donald had been close to the right-hand bushes with his opening drive on the first day and after straying that way again he hit a provisional ball just in case.
The original was found in the deep rough, but he missed a four foot par putt and thought to himself: "Not again".
Like his first round, though, he came back with three birdies in the next four, but covering the first ten in one over left him in dire need of a strong finish - and he produced it.
McIlroy did not appear to have the same touch of magic on the greens as he did in covering the back nine in 30 on Thursday. He missed three birdie chances from eight feet or less in the first six holes, but two-putted the long second and a three on the 461 yard eighth was a real boost, especially when Lawrie, bunkered off the tee, then bogeyed it to be only one ahead once more.
McIlroy grabbed a share of the lead for the first time thanks to a seven foot birdie putt on the 11th, but followed it with a three-putt bogey.
That sent him down into a tie for third as Quiros joined Lawrie out in front with his fifth birdie of the day on the long 15th.
Just as McIlroy's stopped short of the water on the short 17th Quiros used his power to find the green in two at the par five last and made a 20 foot eagle putt.
He had matched the course record of 64 and leapt to 12 under, with McIlroy nine under.
The lead then became four when the Northern Irishman did not make the green with his chip and bogeyed.
Paul Lawrie fell out down the leaderboard with an inward half of 39 - compared with 33 yesterday. He had a double-bogey 6 at the 12th and single shots dropped at the 15th, 16th and 17th. Birdies at the long 14th and long 18th could not repair all the damange. A one-over-par 73 gave him a halfway total of 138.





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