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Rose leads the way
James Jose / 19 January 2013
This Rose is surely blooming at the National Course. But it remains to be seen if he can go all the way. Justin Rose played some solid golf to take sole possession of the leaderboard after the second round of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship at the Abu Dhabi Golf Club on Friday.
On a day when the two top name in golf—World No.1 Rory McIlroy and World No.2 Tiger Woods missed the cut, Rose kept it together perfectly. The Englishman, who was joint leader with Welshman Jamie Donaldson overnight at five-under, carded a three-under 69 for an overall eight-under 136.
A three-man pack are placed joint second. Denmark’s Thorbjorn Olesen, Spaniard Gonzalo Fdez-Castano and Jamie Donaldson are a stroke behind Rose at seven-under.
The Netherlands’ Joost Luiten and South African Garth Mulroy are tied fifth, three strokes behind the leader, at five-under.
Eight men are bunched up at tied seventh which includes triple Abu Dhabi winner Martin Kaymer. South Africa’s George Coetzee, New Zealand’s Michael Campbell, Sweden’s Henrik Stenson, Martin Kaymer, South Africa’s Branden Grace, American Jason Dufner, and England’s David Howell were four-under, four adrift of Rose.
The cut was applied at two over and 70 golfers made the cut.
Defending champion Robert Rock withdrew from the tournament and did not take part in the second round because he was unwell. He was four-over after the first round on Thursday.
As Rory McIlroy’s game faltered again, his Nike stable mate and playing partner Tiger Woods had a strange day on Friday. The American, who started the day on par, dropped shots on the front nine, which also saw an infringement. He began with two consecutive bogeys on the first and second and another on the fourth. He took a drop on the par-4 fifth after he had hit his tee shot into the sand. He thought that the ball was embedded but the rules said otherwise. He was informed about it by the European Tour chief referee Andy McFee on the 11th hole and incurred a two stroke penalty which put him out of the equation for the cut. Till then, he was still in with a chance of making the cut. Woods finished with a thre-over 147.
McIlroy had a miserable day, spraying his tee shots and missing the fairways. The Ulsterman also had trouble with his putting, despite reverting to his old putter. McIlroy, who was signed by Nike in a multi-year and multi-million deal, did not use his Nike putter on Friday.
McIlroy, who was three-over at the start of the day, finished with a three-over 75 for an overall six-over 150. “I just felt like the greens that I’ve been practicing on in Florida are a lot faster than these. The putter, the Nike putter is great on that. But then getting to here, it’s just a lighter. So, it’s just a weight issue more than anything else.”
136 Justin Rose (Britain) 67 69
137 Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano (Spain) 70 67
J Donaldson (Britain) 67 70
T Olesen (Denmark) 68 69
139 G Mulroy (South Africa) 71 68
J Luiten (Netherlands) 70 69
140 M Manassero (Italy) 72 68
Jason Dufner (U.S.) 71 69
B Grace (South Africa) 71 69
M Kaymer (Germany) 71 69
G Coetzee (South Africa) 69 71
H Stenson (Sweden) 69 71
Michael Campbell (New Zealand) 69 71
David Howell (Britain) 69 71
141 K Horne (South Africa) 72 69
S Kjeldsen (Denmark) 70 71
Joel Sjoeholm (Sweden) 71 70
Liang Wenchong (China) 69 72
Richie Ramsay (Britain) 73 68
T Jaidee (Thailand) 70 71
Danny Willett (Britain) 70 71
R Jacquelin (France) 72 69
J Kruger (South Africa) 72 69
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