Donaldson leads clubhouse in Dubai part way into 2nd round

England's Tommy Fleetwood plays a shot on the 9th hole during the second round of the Dubai Desert Classic golf tournament in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Friday, Jan. 26, 2018. (AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili)

Welsh golfer Jamie Donaldson has followed his opening 62 with a solid 3-under-par 69 to take the clubhouse lead in the weather-interrupted second round of the Dubai Desert Classic

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — Welsh golfer Jamie Donaldson followed his opening 62 with a solid 3-under-par 69 to take the clubhouse lead in the weather-interrupted second round of the Dubai Desert Classic on Friday.

Tee times were delayed for nearly three hours because of thick fog. That led to none of the afternoon groups, including Rory McIlroy and defending champion Sergio Garcia, being able to finish their second round when darkness suspended play.

Donaldson was on 13-under 131 at the halfway stage, with Li Haotong second, one shot behind after a consecutive 66s.

Branden Grace shot 65 to lie third in the clubhouse at 11 under.

Miguel Angel Jimenez showed at 54 he could still compete with the youngsters as he moved to 10 under with a 68. Thomas Aiken (67) was tied with Jimenez.

Among those still on the course, McIlroy was 10 under after 11 holes. Garcia and Henrik Stenson were 6- and 7-under par respectively playing alongside McIlroy.

Tommy Fleetwood was 2 under for the day after 10 holes to move to a 5 under total.

Donaldson, a former Ryder Cup star who was ranked as high as 23 in the world and has fallen to 292, made four birdies and bogeyed the par-3 11th in his 69.

He attributed his return to form to almost two months of not touching his clubs over the winter break.

"We play so much golf all year. I've got two young kids; it's time to have some family time with them for a couple of months and it was great," said Donaldson, a three-time winner on the European Tour.

"I came out for the season nice and fresh and you're reacting more to what you've turned up with, as opposed to slogging yourself to death over the winter. To each his own. And then nearer the time, start playing a little bit.

"Worked on my putting with Phil Kenyon, and that made a big difference. I have putted much better this week. It's a case of playing the shots that you know you can play."

Li, who was a star for the Asia team recently in their narrow loss to Europe in the EurAsia Cup, made a double bogey on the first hole - his 10th - but 10 birdies more than made up for that mishap.

The Chinese who has risen to No. 60 in the world rankings, said the morning delay did not bother him and in fact helped him relax.

"I saw another Chinese player (Wu Ashun) and we stayed in the players' lounge and played FIFA on PlayStation. So it was fun. Just had a lot of time to relax," said Li, who won that match 3-1.

The second round will start early, and the third round will be played as a three-ball.

Related News

Bangladesh reaches dominant 250-2 at tea against...

Jan 31, 2018

Mominul Haque hit 103 ball-107 not out as Bangladesh reached a dominant 250-2 at tea on the first...

Bangladesh takes upper-hand against Sri Lanka

Jan 31, 2018

Mominul Haque hit 175 not out as Bangladesh took the upper-hand in the first test against Sri Lanka...

De Silva's 104 not out leads Sri Lanka reply vs...

Feb 1, 2018

Dhananjaya de Silva scored 104 not out as Sri Lanka made a strong reply after dismissing Bangladesh...

Mendis and de Silva bat Sri Lanka to 504-3 in 1st...

Feb 2, 2018

Opener Kusal Mendis and Dhananjaya de Silva have hit career-best centuries as Sri Lanka has reached...

Sri Lanka eyes final-day win with 713-9;...

Feb 3, 2018

Sri Lanka set up a potential final-day victory in the first test against Bangladesh after smashing...

Mominul makes history with second century in...

Feb 4, 2018

Mominul Haque became the first Bangladesh player to score centuries in both innings of a test as...

About Us

We’re all about evolving the love of sports. With The Sport Ship, you can up your game and receive all the latest news about the sports world before anyone else.

Contact us: sales[at]thesportship.com

Subscribe Now!