DeChambeau, Herbert share Dubai Desert Classic lead

 

DeChambeau, Herbert share Dubai Desert Classic lead
Bryson Dechambeau chips onto the green on the 11th hole during round two of the Dubai Desert Classic.

Dubai - The world number five came up with two birdies in his final two holes

By Rituraj Borkakoty

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Published: Fri 25 Jan 2019, 8:29 PM

Last updated: Fri 25 Jan 2019, 10:33 PM

A late fightback from American Bryson DeChambeau earned him a share of the lead with Australian Lucas Herbert in the second round of the Dubai Desert Classic at the iconic Majlis Course on Friday.
The world number five came up with two birdies in his final two holes to deny Herbert the sole ownership of the lead at the halfway stage of this year's championship.
The 25-year-old DeChambeau's second round of score of 66 helped him go 12 under par. Trailing the joint-leaders by a stroke, Spain's Alvaro Quiros, the 2011 Dubai champion, was into a tie for the third with South African legend Ernie Els at 11 under par.
But it was DeChambeau that had the biggest smile on his face at the end of the second round. "Yeah, I'm pleased. I'm pleased that I'm playing golf. I'm getting it in the hole and executing the right shots when I need to and making a lot of key putts," the American said.
"One of the things I talked about this week was reading the green right, and we've done a pretty good job so far. Hopefully we can keep it up."
Herbert, on the other hand, delivered a career-best round of 63 as a combination of seven birdies and an eagle put him on the top spot with the American. "Yeah, obviously I sort of kept a bit of an eye on the scores this morning, and even looking at yesterday, everyone is making those numbers around the back nine," the Australian said.
"You've obviously got the three par-5s, and 17 is drivable, so there's some good birdie opportunities. I knew I just had to take advantage of them straight out of the gate. I did that with an eagle-birdie-birdie start. "I was like 7-under through about 11 holes, and it just felt like I was cruising. I probably left some out there to be honest. Yeah, and then obviously 40-footer on the last there to finish off with a par was pretty nice."
Meanwhile, Els, the 50-year-old legend, turned back the clock with a brilliant 65, thanks to an eagle and seven birdies. "I like this place, as you know. I've had some really great times here. I'm swinging well, my body feels well and I found my form," said Els - a three-time winner of the Dubai Desert Classic. Els, a four-time Major champion whose last Dubai title came in 2005, said the course has changed a little bit over the years.
"It's obviously a little different golf course. They've really grown the rough. I see the scoring is really good. I see scoring slowing down a little bit over the weekend in the afternoons," he said. "The greens were getting a little firmer, faster, but if you get it in the fairway, give yourself second-shot opportunities, and the putter has been working, so it's been fun."
Defending champion Haotong Li of China was into a tie for the fifth place with four others at 10 under par, while overnight leader Matthew Fitzpatrick found himself in the 10th spot with three others at nine under par.


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