McIlroy stands the desert heat
Golf:Rory McIlroy overcame what he thinks was a touch of sunstroke to move into a share of the halfway lead at the DP World Tour Championship in Dubai. The world number one shot a second round 67 and goes into the weekend 11 under par alongside world number two Luke Donald and Scot Marc Warren.
South Africans Louis Oosthuizen and Branden Grace are only a stroke behind.
"I got off the course yesterday and had a really sore head and a fever," said McIlroy. "I think it was a bit of sunstroke. I took a few things and felt better, but I'm not feeling great again. The sun's taking it out of me a bit."
He birdied two of the first three, but came up short of the green at the 245-yard fourth and bogeyed. It was his only dropped stroke, however, and further birdies came at the seventh, 10th, 14th - he lipped out for eagle there - and 15th.
Overnight leader Donald had a 68, while playing partner Warren - 189th in the world - matched McIlroy's round.
Warren will play with McIlroy for only the second time in his life in Dubai on Saturday - and the circumstances are certainly different.
Warren remembers being paired with McIlroy at Walton Heath in a US Open qualifier; "I think he was about four at the time," he joked.
It was actually 2008 and the 19-year-old McIlroy was already destined for greatness, but both failed to get through to Torrey Pines - scene of Tiger Woods' last major victory - that day.
"Everyone knew from day one that Rory was special and I'm really looking forward to it," said the 31-year-old after outscoring 2001 Walker Cup team-mate Donald by one.
That may have just delayed a head-to-head clash between golf's current top two for 24 hours, but Warren takes great heart from how he performed.
"Little things like that, it does wonders for your confidence," he added. "It's going to be a great weekend. The atmosphere is buzzing already so I'm looking forward to seeing what it's like on Saturday and Sunday as well. It's nice to be the Scot with the Englishman and the Northern Irishman. It's a high-quality leaderboard and doesn't get any better in the world really."
Sergio Garcia shot one of golf's most remarkable course records - two eagles, nine birdies, two bogeys and a triple bogey seven.
It all added up to a second round 64, eight under par, and from 49th place after his initial 73 he was back in contention at seven under.
The score was all the more amazing with this being the 32-year-old Spaniard's first event since the Ryder Cup in September. He underwent laser surgery afterwards to correct his astigmatism.
"It was unbelievable, wasn't it?" he said after moving from one over par to seven under.
An 18-foot eagle putt from just off the back of the final green made Garcia the sixth player to hand in a 64 on the Greg Norman-designed Earth course, venue for the European Tour's season-ending showpiece for the past four years.