Eddie Pepperell sets the halfway pace in Dubai Desert Classic

Bryson DeChambeau trails leader by one with Shane Lowry five shots off top spot

Eddie Pepperell has the halfway lead in Dubai. Photograph: Ross Kinnaird/Getty

Eddie Pepperell has the halfway lead in Dubai. Photograph: Ross Kinnaird/Getty

 

England’s Eddie Pepperell fired a second-round 67 to lead defending champion Bryson DeChambeau by one shot heading into the weekend at the Omega Dubai Desert Classic.

With lighter winds making for easier scoring in the desert, Pepperell carded seven birdies and two bogeys to get to eight under in the morning and set a target that would not be passed.

American Ryder Cup star DeChambeau looked the most likely to catch the leader when he birdied the 14th to get within one, but he gave the shot straight back before a gain on the 17th moved him back to seven under alongside South African Dean Burmester and Swede Robert Karlsson.

Shane Lowry meanwhile is five shots off the halfway lead after he carded a second round of 69 on Friday. Lowry’s round contained four birdies and one bogey as he moved to three under par for the tournament following his first round 72.

He will be joined over the weekend by Pádraig Harrington who crept inside the cut mark with rounds of 71 and 75, but Graeme McDowell’s week is over after rounds of 72 and 75 saw him miss out by a stroke.

Leader Pepperell has switched to a claw putting-grip and gone back to some old practice methods as he looks to rediscover the form that made him a winner twice in 2018, and he was happy with his day’s work at Emirates Golf Club.

“I think regardless of what your hands are doing on the grip, great putters tend to look quite comfortable,” he told europeantour.com. “When I set this way I look more comfortable which, in my mind and I think in the viewer’s mind, should be more confident.

“It’s been very good the past two days and I’ve been surprised with how good it’s been. If I can keep doing that over the weekend with what I’ve been doing with the swing I think I’m going to make plenty of birdies which would be great.”

Shane Lowry posted a second round of 69 in Dubai. Photograph: Andrew Redington/Getty
Shane Lowry posted a second round of 69 in Dubai. Photograph: Andrew Redington/Getty

DeChambeau has added significant bulk to his frame in the last 12 months to increase his distance and, after driving up to the side of the green and making birdies at the par-four second and 17th in round two, he was delighted to see his work paying dividends.

“It’s opened new boundaries that I never thought were possible to be up front with you,” he told Sky Sports Golf after matching Pepperell with a 67.

“My wedge game has been immaculate, my putting has been for the most part a success and iron play has kept me in the proper place. I hit a couple of nice drives today and I’m getting better with my driving.”

Burmester was involved in a car accident on Wednesday and, despite sustaining a minor ankle injury, he matched Karlsson’s score of 68 in round two.

France’s Romain Langasque and China’s Wu Ashun were at six under, two shots ahead of England’s Tommy Fleetwood, who carded the lowest round of the week so far with a 65.

Collated second round scores & totals in the European Tour Omega Dubai Desert Classic (Gbr & Irl unless stated, par 72):

136 Eddie Pepperell 69 67

137 Robert Karlsson (Swe) 69 68, Dean Burmester (Rsa) 69 68, Bryson DeChambeau (USA) 70 67

138 Ashun Wu (Chn) 69 69, Romain Langasque (Fra) 69 69

139 Kurt Kitayama (USA) 69 70, Sebastian Heisele (Ger) 70 69, Victor Perez (Fra) 73 66, Christiaan Bezuidenhout (Rsa) 73 66

140 Adri Arnaus (Spa) 72 68, Lucas Herbert (Aus) 69 71, Tommy Fleetwood 75 65, Matthieu Pavon (Fra) 69 71

141 Shane Lowry 72 69, Viktor Hovland (Nor) 71 70, Grant Forrest 73 68

142 Mathiam Keyser (Rus) 74 68, Shaun Norris (Rsa) 69 73, Jack Singh Brar 71 71, Tom Lewis 73 69, Jordan Smith 72 70, Masahiro Kawamura (Jpn) 69 73, Henrik Stenson (Swe) 72 70

143 Kalle Samooja (Fin) 69 74, Sergio Garcia (Spa) 71 72, David Lipsky (USA) 68 75, Louis Oosthuizen (Rsa) 71 72, Martin Kaymer (Ger) 72 71, Adrian Otaegui (Spa) 72 71, Nacho Elvira (Spa) 73 70

144 Justin Harding (Rsa) 71 73, Joost Luiten (Ned) 72 72, Matthias Schwab (Aut) 72 72, Gaganjeet Bhullar (Ind) 73 71, Ian Poulter 71 73, Robert Macintyre 74 70, Sean Crocker (USA) 72 72, Gavin Green (Mal) 73 71, Nino Bertasio (Ita) 74 70, Thomas Pieters (Bel) 67 77

145 Soren Kjeldsen (Den) 69 76, Mike Lorenzo-Vera (Fra) 74 71, Mikko Korhonen (Fin) 74 71, Julien Guerrier (Fra) 71 74, Scott Jamieson 74 71, Joachim B. Hansen (Den) 75 70, David Drysdale 74 71, Thomas Detry (Bel) 73 72, Lorenzo Gagli (Ita) 75 70, Benjamin Hebert (Fra) 72 73, Erik Van Rooyen (Rsa) 70 75, Matthew Fitzpatrick 74 71

146 David Law 75 71, Alexander Bjork (Swe) 77 69, Danny Willett 76 70, Aaron Rai 77 69, Jason Scrivener (Aus) 77 69, Tapio Pulkkanen (Fin) 73 73, Jeff Winther (Den) 76 70, Sebastian Soderberg (Swe) 71 75, Lee Westwood 78 68, Richie Ramsay 73 73, Ryan Fox (Nzl) 76 70, Nicolas Colsaerts (Bel) 77 69, Callum Shinkwin 73 73, Zander Lombard (Rsa) 71 75, Niklas Norgaard Moller (Den) 74 72, Romain Wattel (Fra) 70 76, Miguel Angel Jimenez (Spa) 72 74, Padraig Harrington 71 75

The following players missed the cut:

147 Andrew Johnston 76 71, Maximilian Kieffer (Ger) 77 70, Graeme McDowell 72 75, Ross Fisher 75 72, Benjamin Poke (Den) 76 71, Jayden Trey Schaper (Rsa) 71 76, James Morrison 75 72

148 Steven Brown 77 71, Haydn Porteous (Rsa) 75 73, Joakim Lagergren (Swe) 79 69, David Horsey 77 71, Matthew Southgate 74 74, Pablo Larrazabal (Spa) 73 75, Oliver Fisher 72 76, Robert Rock 74 74, Tae Hee Lee (Kor) 72 76, Sam Horsfield 72 76, Wade Ormsby (Aus) 74 74, Bernd Wiesberger (Aut) 76 72

149 Marcus Kinhult (Swe) 75 74, David Howell 80 69, Paul Waring 77 72, Renato Paratore (Ita) 73 76, Alvaro Quiros (Spa) 75 74, Jeunghun Wang (Kor) 79 70, Rafael Cabrera-Bello (Spa) 76 73, Richard Sterne (Rsa) 75 74

150 Thomas Aiken (Rsa) 74 76, Stephen Gallacher 73 77, Daniel Gaunt (Aus) 78 72, Guido Migliozzi (Ita) 75 75, Justin Walters (Rsa) 78 72, Ashley Chesters 75 75, Edoardo Molinari (Ita) 76 74

151 Richard McEvoy 78 73

152 Shubhankar Sharma (Ind) 77 75, Jazz Janewattananond (Tha) 76 76, Scott Hend (Aus) 73 79, Brandon Stone (Rsa) 73 79, Rasmus Hojgaard (Den) 75 77, Alexander Levy (Fra) 81 71

153 Matt Wallace 77 76, Oliver Wilson 75 78, Paul Lawrie 77 76, Chris Paisley 76 77

154 Haotong Li (Chn) 78 76, Joshua Hill 77 77, Fabrizio Zanotti (Pry) 75 79

155 Shugo Imahira (Jpn) 81 74

156 Victor Dubuisson (Fra) 81 75, Jorge Campillo (Spa) 76 80, Graeme Storm 83 73, Raphael Jacquelin (Fra) 79 77

157 Chris Wood 79 78

158 Ahmed Marjan (Mor) 79 79, Andrea Pavan (Ita) 76 82

160 Harry Konig 80 80

162 George Coetzee (Rsa) 82 80

171 Othman Almulla (Sau) 83 88

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