Lee ignores leader board and scores
LEE WESTWOOD shot a 3-under 69 yesterday to take a two-stroke lead after the second round of the Dubai World Championship, increasing his chance of winning the European money title.
The English golfer put himself in a solid position to pick up two big prizes today. If he wins the last tournament of the European Tour season, he will receive $1.25 million in prize money plus a $1.5 million bonus for winning the Race to Dubai money prize.
Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy, the leader of the money race going into the tournament, also shot a 69. He was one of six players tied for second place at 7-under, two shots behind Westwood.
The others are Ireland’s Padraig Harrington, England’s Ross McGowan, Australia’s Robert Allenby, South Africa’s Louis Oosthuizen and Colombia’s Camilo Villegas.
Westwood is confident of winning both prizes tomorrow. “I am as much in control of my game as I have been for a long time,” he said after a round that began with two birdies on the Earth Course.
“I feel very calm and happy with myself. All parts of my game feel solid and I enjoy times like this. I know that if I play as good as I can play I can win this tournament.”
Westwood revealed that to maintain his focus he took the advice of his English caddy, Bill Foster, and stopped looking at the leaderboard during his round.
“I have always been a leaderboard watcher,” he said. “But this week we decided to try something different. So we are not looking.”
McIlroy had gone to the top of the leaderboard, reaching 9-under with an eagle at the par-5 7th hole as he covered the front nine in 31 shots.
But he slipped backed by missing two putts from inside three feet to save par on the 14th and 15th greens.
“I feel I am playing well enough to give myself a shot at the title,” the 20year-old McIlroy said.
“I am still in a good position going into the weekend not to dwell on missed opportunities.”
Harrington, who has won two British Open Championships as well as the 2008 US PGA title, was holding the outright lead himself when he reached the par-5 18th. But he found the water with his second shot and then, going for the green, put his ball in the stream to the left of the flag.
Harrington finished with a 69 and dropped back to join the group of players in second place.
Shortly after that, Westwood sank a 20-foot birdie putt at the same hole to reach 9-under for two rounds.
Allenby, the Australian first-round leader, slipped back after making bogey at his first hole and shot a par 72. – AP