Jamie Donaldson cooled off significantly on Day 2 of the Omega Dubai Desert Classic, but he still has the lead, sitting at 13-under through 36 holes.
He shot a 69 following his blistering 62 on Thursday. All of the entries have not completed their second rounds because of a lengthy fog delay. Notably Sweden’s Alexander Bjork is at 11-under through 12 and Rory McIlroy is 10-under through 11.
Donaldson played a very neat second round, making four birdies against just one bogey.
“I have backed up low scores like that with another one but today it wasn’t to be,” Donaldson said. “Quite happy with a 69. Played nicely. Drove the ball well, iron play was good, took my chances when I was close enough to do so. Hit a lot of really good putts that didn’t go in where yesterday they all went in. It can always be better, can’t it? Wanted to try to go flag hunting a little bit, which maybe I shouldn’t have done, but happy with how I played.”
Hot on Donaldson’s trail is China’s Li Haotong, 20 years Donaldson’s junior. Li shot his second straight 66 on Friday. He started the round with an ugly double bogey, then rattled off birdies on seven of the next nine holes. He shot the same front and back (32 and 34) as he had on Thursday.
South Africa’s Branden Grace had the low round of the day, a 7-under 65 to get him to third place at 11-under. Grace has been on fire since the start of the calendar year and is within striking distance of the top 10.
Another familiar face in the top 5 after two rounds is Spain’s living legend, Miguel Angel Jimenez. Jimenez, who turned 54 three weeks ago, has shot 66-68 so far and is 10-under for the tournament. He already has the record for the oldest winner of an European Tour event, set four years ago in Spain at age 50.