Rory McIlroy struggles on day two of the DP World Tour Championship as he falls 10 shots behind leader Nicolai Hojgaard at Tour’s showpiece event… as European Ryder Cup stars dominate in Dubai
- Europe’s Ryder Cup stars are dominating at the DP World Tour Championship
- But Rory McIlroy is not one of them, underwhelming on day two in Dubai
- McIlroy sits T34, having carded a 71 and a 72 in his opening two rounds
A variety of Europe’s Ryder Cup stars have congregated in the top spots of the leaderboard at the DP World Tour Championship in Dubai. None of them go by the name of Rory McIlroy.
If his final tournament of the year is to end in victory, it will require an immense comeback from 10 strokes behind and a substantially warmer putter following his opening 71 with a level-par 72 on Friday.
‘I was just stuck in neutral all day,’ he said after a lop-sided round where two strokes were gained on the front nine and each was returned to the course on the way in.
He added: ‘I hit eight out of nine greens on the front nine and I played nicely but I didn’t putt as well as I did yesterday.
‘Obviously I’m going to need a low one to get myself back in the tournament.’
While several of Europe’s Ryder Cup stars are dominating at the DP World Tour Championship, Rory McIlroy is struggling, falling to T34 in the standings
The Northern Irishman has carded a 71 and a 72 in his opening two rounds and admitted he’ll need to shoot a low score on Saturday to pull himself back into contention
Nicolai Hojgaard currently leads the tournament at 11 under, with Thriston Lawrence, Tommy Fleetwood, Viktor Hovland and several other stars trailing him on nine under
Easier said than done, though the way has been shown by a number of his European team-mates.
Nicolai Hojgaard leads on 11 under after an excellent 66, which saw him bogey the third and fourth holes before six birdies between five and 17.
A 220-yard approach to six feet at the par-five 18th saw him close with an eagle.
Tommy Fleetwood and Viktor Hovland are two shots back in a share of second after matching rounds of 66.
Fleetwood, who has accumulated four top-10s here but no wins, said: ‘It’s close to my heart now, this one.
‘I always feel like it brings out great champions, so the ultimate goal is to be one of those and put my name on the trophy. Halfway there.’
Jon Rahm blitzed his way out with four birdies in six holes and an eagle on his ninth, but three-putted from 18 feet to bogey at his last in a 66.
The Masters champion will resume at six under.
Fleetwood has also enjoyed a fine start to the tournament, scoring a 69 and a 66 in his opening two rounds
McIlroy admitted that his putting had let him down on day two, after hitting eight out of nine greens on the front nine
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