Shane Lowry makes play for Gulf double as Ernie Els rolls back years

Irish golfer fires 67 to trail by four as four-time Major winner cards 65


Shane Lowry positioned himself for back-to-back wins in the Gulf by carding a five-under 67 in his second round at the Omega Dubai Desert Classic to move within four shots of the lead on Friday.

Fresh from his win in Abu Dhabi last Sunday, Lowry carded six birdies and a single bogey to move into a share of 14th position on eight under.

Lowry’s win at the Abu Dhabi Championships ended a drought that stretched back to 2015 and four-time Major winner Ernie Els supplied the story of the day on Friday as he rolled back the years to put himself in contention for a first victory since 2013.

Els carded a second round of 65 at Emirates Golf Club, where he won his first European Tour title 25 years ago, to finish alongside fellow former champion Alvaro Quiros on 11 under par, a shot off the halfway lead shared by world number five Bryson DeChambeau and Australia’s Lucas Herbert.

DeChambeau recorded seven birdies and an eagle in his second consecutive 66, while Herbert also had seven birdies and an eagle in a superb, bogey-free 63

Els is just nine months away from being eligible for the Champions Tour and is currently ranked 527th in the world, but the 49-year-old is a three-time winner of the event and amazingly never finished worse than eighth in his first 11 appearances.

“I like this place, as you know. I’ve had some really great times here,” Els said after a round containing an eagle, seven birdies and two bogeys.

“I’m swinging well, my body feels well. Just, you know, going on the memory bank, I guess.

“Playing with Colin [Montgomerie] and Jose [Maria Olazabal] was also fun. We’ve done a lot in the game, and we had a good couple of chats, and I found my form. You’ve got to love it.

“We try and play the game to win tournaments and do as good as you can. I’ve had a good time. I’ve been a professional for a very long time and I’ve got one more year before I’m 50. I’m only 50 in October so I’ll try and have a good year this year and just try and enjoy it.

“I think it might play a little tougher over the weekend and in the afternoons if the wind comes. But I think still just keep the foot on the pedal, try and make some birdies. I think 20 under is probably where you need to be or maybe even more. There’s still a lot of work to be done.”

In contrast to Els, DeChambeau is seeking a fourth win in his last nine events, despite insisting he was far from his best for the second day running.

“I thought yesterday getting it around not making a bogey was awesome, but today even more impressive with three bogeys on the card, still shooting six under,” the American Ryder Cup player said.

“I was happy about that. Unfortunately, again, just didn’t have the right sensations and preparation over shots.

“I just felt uncomfortable, unfortunately, on a lot of them, and consequently just am not ball-striking my best. But hey, shoot, I’m not complaining one bit. There’s no complaining here for sure, so I’m happy.”

Herbert’s 63 was the lowest round of the week so far and was kick-started by an eagle and two birdies in his first three holes, with five more birdies followed by a lengthy par-saving putt on the ninth, his final hole, after pulling his tee shot into the water.

“I don’t expect to shoot another two 63s out there,” the 23-year-old said. “I think today was some of the really good golf that I can play and it’s going to be hard to replicate that.

“But if I just keep putting one foot in front of the other, I won’t be doing too much wrong. Keep the bogeys off the card, try and pick off those par fives and I don’t think we’ll be too far away from it Sunday afternoon.”

Defending champion Haotong Li and England’s Matt Wallace and Callum Shinkwin are two shots off the lead on 12 under, with overnight leader Matt Fitzpatrick a stroke further back following a 70.

A triple-bogey seven on the ninth hole following two earlier bogeys saw Paul Dunne’s hopes of weekend play disappear over his front nine on Friday.

Dunne made two birdies coming home to sign for a three-over 75, his total of one over leaving him four shots off the cut of three under.

(British and Irish unless stated, par 72)

132 Lucas Herbert (Aus) 69 63, Bryson DeChambeau (USA) 66 66

133 Ernie Els (Rsa) 68 65, Alvaro Quiros (Esp) 69 64

134 Jason Scrivener (Aus) 67 67, Haotong Li (Chn) 67 67, Matt Wallace 70 64, Matthieu Pavon (Fra) 66 68, Callum Shinkwin 66 68

135 Fabrizio Zanotti (Pry) 69 66, George Coetzee (Rsa) 70 65, Kim Koivu (Fin) 67 68, Matthew Fitzpatrick 65 70

136 Adri Arnaus (Esp) 68 68, Kalle Samooja (Fin) 66 70, Jorge Campillo (Esp) 69 67, Romain Langasque (Fra) 66 70, Scott Hend (Aus) 66 70, Shane Lowry 69 67, Thorbjorn Olesen (Den) 69 67, Sergio Garcia (Esp) 66 70, Jordan Smith 68 68, Wade Ormsby (Aus) 67 69, Thomas Detry (Bel) 68 68, Bradley Dredge 68 68

137 Paul Waring 67 70, Thongchai Jaidee (Tha) 66 71, Lee Westwood 67 70, 138 Justin Harding (Rsa) 70 68, Ross Fisher 69 69, Alexander Bjork (Swe) 68 70, Byeong-Hun An (Kor) 70 68, Mikko Korhonen (Fin) 71 67, Martin Kaymer (Ger) 71 67, Aaron Rai 70 68, Pablo Larrazabal (Esp) 72 66, Romain Wattel (Fra) 68 70, Tommy Fleetwood 68 70, Ian Poulter 67 71

139 Joachim B Hansen (Den) 73 66, Thomas Aiken (Rsa) 71 68, Dean Burmester (Rsa) 70 69, Tyrrell Hatton 69 70, Ashun Wu (Chn) 71 68, Eddie Pepperell 72 67, Nino Bertasio (Ita) 68 71

140 Shubhankar Sharma (Ind) 71 69, Robert Karlsson (Swe) 75 65, Lucas Bjerregaard (Den) 72 68, Kurt Kitayama (USA) 71 69, Tom Lewis 68 72, Stephen Gallacher 68 72, Thomas Bjorn (Den) 72 68, Victor Perez (Fra) 70 70, Jens Dantorp (Swe) 70 70

141 Andrew Johnston 72 69, Shaun Norris (Rsa) 72 69, Tapio Pulkkanen (Fin) 68 73, Marc Warren 70 71, Christiaan Bezuidenhout (Rsa) 67 74, Richie Ramsay 69 72, Haydn Porteous (Rsa) 69 72, Nicolas Colsaerts (Bel) 74 67, Ashley Chesters 72 69, Chris Paisley 73 68, Matthew Southgate 71 70, Matthias Schwab (Aut) 69 72, Hideto Tanihara (Jpn) 67 74, Raphael Jacquelin (Fra) 69 72, Victor Dubuisson (Fra) 71 70, Gaganjeet Bhullar (Ind) 71 70, Sam Brazel (Aus) 71 70, Thomas Pieters (Bel) 72 69


142 Mike Lorenzo-Vera (Fra) 73 69, Maximilian Kieffer (Ger) 74 68, Joost Luiten (Ned) 70 72, Kristoffer Broberg (Swe) 70 72, David Horsey 71 71, Jaco Van Zyl (Rsa) 73 69, Robert Rock 74 68, Sean Crocker (USA) 72 70, Adrian Otaegui (Esp) 72 70, Henrik Stenson (Swe) 70 72

143 Ahmed Marjan (Mor) 74 69, Ryan Fox (Nzl) 70 73, Darren Fichardt (Rsa) 73 70, (a) Rayhan Thomas (Ind) 74 69, Renato Paratore (Ita) 71 72, Jacques Kruyswijk (Rsa) 74 69, David Drysdale 73 70, Bernd Wiesberger (Aut) 74 69, Benjamin Hebert (Fra) 72 71, Rafael Cabrera-Bello (Esp) 75 68

144 Phachara Khongwatmai (Tha) 70 74, Soren Kjeldsen (Den) 71 73, Sebastian Soderberg (Swe) 69 75, Nacho Elvira (Esp) 72 72, Scott Jamieson 70 74

145 Marcus Kinhult (Swe) 77 68, Brandon Stone (Rsa) 75 70, James Morrison 75 70, Paul Dunne 70 75, Andres Romero (Arg) 75 70, Victor Riu (Fra) 74 71, Yusaku Miyazato (Jpn) 76 69, Gavin Green (Mal) 71 74, Richard Sterne (Rsa) 78 67

146 Colin Montgomerie 71 75, Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano (Esp) 74 72, Lee Slattery 74 72, Oliver Fisher 73 73, Peter Hanson (Swe) 73 73, (a) Jovan Rebula (Rsa) 73 73, Sam Horsfield 74 72, Trevor Immelman (Rsa) 76 70, Miguel Angel Jimenez (Esp) 74 72, Justin Walters (Rsa) 73 73, Alexander Levy (Fra) 72 74

147 Steven Brown 73 74, S.S.P Chawrasia (Ind) 72 75, David Lipsky (USA) 74 73, Erik Van Rooyen (Rsa) 74 73, Edoardo Molinari (Ita) 74 73

148 Kristoffer Reitan (Nor) 77 71

149 Jeunghun Wang (Kor) 72 77, David Howell 81 68, Pelle Edberg (Swe) 77 72

150 Jose-Maria Olazabal (Esp) 76 74, Andy Sullivan 74 76, Andrea Pavan (Ita) 77 73

151 Richard McEvoy 75 76

152 Joakim Lagergren (Swe) 76 76

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