Matt Fitzpatrick and Tyrrell Hatton both carded second-round 67s in Dubai to take a three-shot lead into the weekend; Rory McIlroy is seven back after a five-under 68. Watch the DP World Tour Championship live on Saturday from 5am on Sky Sports Golf
By Amar Mehta
Last Updated: 18/11/22 2:49pm
Matt Fitzpatrick and Tyrrell Hatton go into the weekend with a share of the lead at the DP World Tour Championship after finishing their second rounds three shots ahead of the chasing pack.
A fast start to the day saw Hatton open a three-shot lead before Fitzpatrick reined him in and briefly took the lead in the closing stages after a late birdie blitz.
Hatton took advantage of the short 17th to regain a share of first place, but there was late drama on the last hole after disappointing tee shots left the co-leaders with decisions to make.
Hatton chose to take a drop after his ball landed in the penalty area and recovered well to find par. Fitzpatrick played his second shot from the trees, but also closed on a par to share the lead.
Fitzpatrick went into this week’s season finale third on the DP World Tour Rankings and leads the projected standings ahead of Rory McIlroy and Ryan Fox with 36 holes remaining.
Noren, Arnaus, Campillo and Rahm in contention
Swede Alex Noren and Spaniard Adri Arnaus are three shots off the lead on nine under par after carding rounds of 69 and 68 respectively, while Jon Rahm and Jorge Campillo are a shot further back in a tie for fifth.
Fitzpatrick was delighted with his second-round performance, saying: “Really, really pleased with the way I played again. And yeah, scored really well too. It was a good day.
“Just got to keep pushing on, just keep playing how I feel like I’m playing right now. I feel really comfortable with where my game is at, particularly after three weeks off, and looking forward to the weekend.
“I feel like I’ve played two good rounds to start with and put myself in position and I’ll just keep doing more of the same and see where it gets me come Sunday.”
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McIlroy in contention for top-10 finish
McIlroy put himself in the mix for a top-10 finish after completing his second round in style. McIlroy made a slow start to the tournament on Thursday but had a more fruitful second day, carding a four-under 68 to move to five under overall.
On the 18th hole, the 33-year-old hit an eagle after two consecutive birdies.
Asked after his round if the 18th hole had changed his mindset going into the weekend, McIlroy said: “Yeah, 100 per cent.
“Pretty mediocre golf for the first 33 holes, and then something sort of clicked. Whatever it is, I need to bottle it for the weekend.
“It was nice to finish with a flourish there and put myself a little closer to the guys. You never know, that finish here on Friday could be key to something that happens over the next 36 holes.”
McIlroy and Fox can claim the Harry Vardon trophy with an outright victory in Dubai, which is awarded to whoever finished top of the DP World Rankings.
Fox finished on one over par at the end of his round on Friday.
Shane Lowry was among the early starters, and he improved on his opening 73, with a two under 70, and is within sight of the top 20.
Watch the DP World Tour Championship throughout the week live on Sky Sports. Live coverage continues Saturday from 5am on Sky Sports Golf.
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