McIlroy, Donald, Warren tied for lead in Dubai

Rory McIlroy shot a 5-under 67 Friday and was tied for the lead

with Luke Donald and Marc Warren after two rounds of the

season-ending Dubai World Championship.

McIlroy, the top-ranked golfer, has already won the money titles

on the European and PGA tours. He was one stroke in front at

11-under 133 with Donald (68) and 189th-ranked Warren (67).

Sergio Garcia, playing for the first time since laser eye

surgery, matched the course record with a 64 to leave him four

shots behind.

McIlroy’s round could have been even better, but he missed

several makeable putts on the front nine and an eagle putt roll

past the hole at No. 14.

”I continued driving the ball well today and gave myself plenty

of opportunities,” McIlroy said. ”Missed a couple of short ones

on the front nine for birdies. But apart from that, it was a very

solid round of golf.”

Garcia started with four birdies on his first five holes and

then had a string of birdies at the turn before holing a long putt

for eagle on No. 14. But he shot into the water on No. 16 for a

triple-bogey before recovering to finish with a birdie and

eagle.

”Coming back from a long break, so trying to get some good

vibrations going and I managed to finish better than that,” Garcia

said.

Donald joined McIlroy and Warren at 11 under with a short birdie

putt on the 18th. Warren had a chance take the outright lead, but

was short on his 12-foot putt on the 18th.

”Obviously, haven’t dropped a shot in 36 holes, so feel good

about that,” said Donald, who finished with four birdies in a

bogey-free round. ”I had some opportunities, 10-foot, 15-footers

on a few holes that I just misread. But that was a solid round of

golf.”

Donald said he wasn’t getting his approach shots as close to the

pin as the first day, but made up for it with the putter, including

a difficult birdie on No. 9 and nice par save on No. 12.

”When I have myself a little bit of trouble out on the course,

I was able to recover with the putter,” Donald said.

Warren, who has not won a tournament since 2007, matched the

second-ranked Donald’s opening birdie and had five more, including

a 12-footer on the 16th to move him into a tie with McIlroy.

”It was nice to be the Scot in the pack with the Englishman and

the Northern Irishman,” Warren said. ”It’s great to be in

contention with guys like that. Looking down the leaderboard, it’s

a high-quality leaderboard and doesn’t get any better anywhere in

the world really.”

Two South Africans were a stroke behind at 134 – Louis

Oosthuizen, the 2010 British Open champion, shot a 67 and four-time

tour winner Branden Grace had a 65.

Charl Schwartzel (67) and Richie Ramsay (68) were two shots off

the pace, followed by another 10 players three strokes behind.

Several big names faltered, including fourth-ranked Lee Westwood

(74). Two shots off the lead after the first round, Westwood

bogeyed the 12th and 16th and then double-bogeyed the par-3 17th to

fall eight shots off the lead.

Padraig Harrington, also two shots back after the first round,

was five behind after a 71.