Ryder Cup hopeful Robert MacIntyre leads in the desert

Pádraig Harrington talked up 24-year-old’s hopes of making European team this week

Robert MacIntyre plays out of the trees during his second round in Dubai. Photograph: Warren Little/Getty

Robert MacIntyre plays out of the trees during his second round in Dubai. Photograph: Warren Little/Getty

 

Two days after his Ryder Cup prospects were talked up by Europe captain Pádraig Harrington, Scotland’s Robert MacIntyre lived up to the hype in the Omega Dubai Desert Classic.

MacIntyre added a second round of 68 to his opening 67 at Emirates Golf Club for a halfway total of nine under par, a shot behind Belgium’s Thomas Detry.

Tommy Fleetwood is part of the group on eight under after completing a second consecutive 68 with an eagle on the 18th, while Abu Dhabi winner Tyrrell Hatton bounced back brilliantly from an opening 76 with a 64 to lie four under.

Harrington meanwhile enjoyed a good day on Friday, his three under par second round of 69 moving him to four under for the tournament and he is now tied for 23rd.

Shane Lowry struggled to really get going as he carded a level par second round of 72 to leave him at two under - enough to safely see him into the weekend. Graeme McDowell has missed the cut however, after he followed his opening 76 with a 73.

MacIntyre recorded four birdies in a bogey-free round but said: “It wasn’t as pretty as yesterday’s round, if I’m being honest. But that’s the way golf is. You can’t have a 72-hole tournament where you hit it absolutely perfectly.

“Today I felt I was out of rhythm early on; the group itself, we couldn’t get any momentum within the group, which was difficult. But I hung in there and I putted great.”

MacIntyre, who was hailed as a “tough customer, a fighter” by Harrington on Wednesday, is currently ranked 52nd in the world and can qualify for the likes of the Players Championship and the Masters by breaking into the top 50 in the coming weeks.

“It’s a goal of mine but it’s all taken care of by good golf,” the 24-year-old left-hander added.

“I’m playing good golf and starting to find a stride with the irons. If I continue to do that, then that should hopefully take care of that. Mick (Thomson, his caddie) is doing a great job of keeping me in check and keeping me from losing a bit of cool. Just go and enjoy ourselves and see where we end up.”

Fleetwood finished seventh in Abu Dhabi on Sunday after a poor finish to the final round and is seeking a first victory since November 2019.

“I’m really happy,” the Ryder Cup star said after holing a lengthy eagle putt on the last. “It’s pretty tough out there. In the afternoon the course kind of firms out and the rough around the greens makes it pretty hard.

“So I think I played really well. The irons were good again and I managed to get it going a little bit when you had to stay really patient early doors.”

Hatton was in a tie for 115th after the first round but surged into the top 25 with a round containing a chip-in eagle on the par-five third and a holed bunker shot for birdie on the sixth.

Pádraig Harrington tees off the eighth on Frifay. Photograph: Andrew Redington/Getty
Pádraig Harrington tees off the eighth on Frifay. Photograph: Andrew Redington/Getty

“I’m pretty happy with that round of golf to be honest,” Hatton said. “The goal was to try to make the cut after the disappointing start so I’m really happy that I’m going to be here for the weekend.

“A little bit disappointed I didn’t birdie 17 or 18, but I can’t really complain with 64. Hoping that I can push on now and see where we go.”

Paul Casey and Lee Westwood are three shots off the lead following rounds of 70 and 68 respectively, with first round leader Richard Sterne on six under following a 74. Sergio Garcia is five under after a 73.

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

(a) denotes amateurs

134 Thomas Detry (Bel) 67 67

135 Robert MacIntyre 67 68

136 Tommy Fleetwood 68 68, Justin Harding (Rsa) 66 70, Kalle Samooja (Fin) 68 68

137 Paul Casey 67 70, Lee Westwood 69 68, Brandon Stone (Rsa) 70 67, Mikko Korhonen (Fin) 70 67, Kurt Kitayama (USA) 65 72, Adria Arnaus (Spa) 68 69

138 Laurie Canter 70 68, Martin Kaymer (Ger) 68 70, Alexander Levy (Fra) 70 68, Shubhankar Sharma (Ind) 70 68, Guido Migliozzi (Ita) 71 67, Richard Sterne (Rsa) 64 74, Fabrizio Zanotti (Pry) 71 67

139 Sergio Garcia (Spa) 66 73, Takumi Kanaya (Jpn) 70 69, Matthias Schwab (Aut) 70 69, Kiradech Aphibarnrat (Tha) 68 71

140 Tyrrell Hatton 76 64, Justin Rose 71 69, Lucas Herbert (Aus) 74 66, Padraig Harrington (Irl) 71 69

141 Matthew Fitzpatrick 70 71, Bernd Wiesberger (Aut) 73 68, Wade Ormsby (Aus) 68 73, Antoine Rozner (Fra) 70 71, Adrian Otaegui (Spa) 67 74, Scott Jamieson 70 71

142 Shane Lowry (Irl) 70 72, Matt Wallace 71 71, Andy Sullivan 70 72, Steven Brown 72 70, Marcus Kinhult (Swe) 70 72, Ashun Wu (Chn) 71 71, Alexander Bjoerk (Swe) 71 71, Ryan Fox (Nzl) 73 69, Justin Walters (Rsa) 72 70, Ross Fisher 68 74

143 Danny Willett 74 69, Pablo Larrazabal (Spa) 70 73, Nicolas Colsaerts (Bel) 70 73, David Lipsky (USA) 72 71, Joost Luiten (Ned) 74 69, Jayden Schaper (Rsa) 70 73, Richie Ramsay 71 72, Ignacio Elvira (Spa) 71 72, Nino Bertasio (Ita) 75 68, Edoardo Molinari (Ita) 76 67, Grant Forrest 74 69

144 Collin Morikawa (USA) 71 73, Christiaan Bezuidenhout (Rsa) 74 70, Rafael Cabrera (Spa) 73 71, Chris Wood 71 73, Sami Valimaki (Fin) 71 73, George Coetzee (Rsa) 72 72, Rasmus Hoejgaard (Den) 72 72, Renato Paratore (Ita) 74 70, Thomas Pieters (Bel) 71 73, Miguel Angel Jimenez (Spa) 74 70, Benjamin Hebert (Fra) 72 72, Jason Scrivener (Aus) 75 69, Jordan Smith 71 73, Gavin Green (Mal) 73 71, Sean Crocker (USA) 71 73, Jeff Winther (Den) 69 75, Ashley Chesters 72 72, Dean Burmester (Rsa) 72 72

145 Victor Perez (Fra) 72 73, Ian Poulter 76 69, Scott Hend (Aus) 69 76, John Catlin (USA) 74 71, David Law 72 73, Sebastian Heisele (Ger) 71 74, David Langley 72 73, Andrew Johnston 73 72, Oliver Fisher 71 74, Victor Dubuisson (Fra) 72 73

146 Kristoffer Broberg (Swe) 72 74, Robert Karlsson (Swe) 72 74, Eduard Rousaud (Spa) 73 73, Masahiro Kawamura (Jpn) 71 75, Chris Paisley 73 73, Soeren Kjeldsen (Den) 72 74, Lorenzo Gagli (Ita) 74 72

147 Stephen Gallacher 74 73, Eddie Pepperell 74 73, Paul Waring 75 72, Joachim B. Hansen (Den) 72 75, Romain Langasque (Fra) 68 79, Zander Lombard (Rsa) 73 74, David Drysdale 73 74, David Horsey 72 75, Tapio Pulkkanen (Fin) 72 75, Haydn Porteous (Rsa) 76 71, James Morrison 75 72, Julien Guerrier (Fra) 72 75

148 Aaron Rai 72 76, Sebastian Soederberg (Swe) 74 74, Matthieu Pavon (Fra) 75 73, Gaganjeet Bhullar (Ind) 77 71

149 Wilco Nienaber (Rsa) 74 75, Graeme McDowell (NIrl) 76 73, Richard McEvoy 78 71, Callum Shinkwin 75 74, David Hague 75 74,Matthew Southgate 74 75

150 Haotong Li (Chn) 72 78, Min-Woo Lee (Aus) 75 75, Ernie Els (Rsa) 73 77, Thomas Bjorn (Den) 74 76, Connor Syme 72 78, Joakim Lagergren (Swe) 70 80, Julian Suri (USA) 72 78, Maximilian Kieffer (Ger) 76 74

151 Henrik Stenson (Swe) 74 77, Jorge Campillo (Spa) 77 74, Alvaro Quiros (Spa) 75 76

152 Ross McGowan 76 76, Garrick Higgo (Rsa) 76 76, Curtis Knipes 79 73, Michael Lorenzo-Vera (Fra) 78 74, David Howell 73 79, Raphael Jacquelin (Fra) 79 73

153 Oliver Wilson 76 77

155 Shergo Al Kurdi (Jor) 76 79

160 Karim El-Hali (Mor) 82 78

Cut to take place at end of Round 2 for scores of no more than 144

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