All up for grabs at the DP World Tour Championship
After a strong comeback in the second round, a dismal 18th hole for Rory McIlroy throws the competition wide open with ten players within three strokes
After a sizzling 65 on Thursday, Rory McIlroy was on course to follow it up on Friday with an equally sparkling 67 going into eighteen. Instead, he double bogeyed the hole for a 70 to fall from leader to fourth place.
The world number eight hit just five of 14 fairways and 11 of 18 greens, slipping one back of fellow Irishman Shane Lowry and American Jon Catlin, who both carded seven under par second rounds to tie the lead with Englishman Sam Horsfield at ten under.
When questioned on his decision to hit a driver to end up in the bunker, McIlroy replied, “I hit a good drive down there yesterday, it’s a comfortable tee shot for me. It was playing slightly into the wind and I hit that tee shot really well. I actually didn’t expect it to go as far as it did and get up the face of the bunker.”
Defiant to the end, Rory would give no truck to the suggestion that what followed was a bad decision either. “I hit a good golf shot. I didn’t feel like it deserved to end up in the water and it was a tricky up and down from there.”
Shane Lowry played superbly for the second day running, with the highlight his hole out for eagle at the 14th. "That was one of my better ones, that was top drawer. That was as good a chip as I hit in a while. I would've been happy to get to 10 feet, but it just popped up and came out lovely and managed to hit the flag and go in for a Brucie bonus."
The winner of the DP World Tour Championship looks to take a $3 million purse from the event, which is the climax of the season-long Race to Dubai. American Collin Morikawa looks to be in line to become overall winner, barring tragedy, and will get a separate $2 million payout, as well as earning a ten year European Tour exemption.