Desert king leaves field in the dust
DUBAI: Spain’s Alvaro Quiros was up to his old desert tricks again yesterday, firing a course record-equalling 64 to storm four shots clear of the field after the Dubai World Championship second round.
While Quiros’s eight-underpar effort gave him a 12-under total of 132, Luke Donald narrowed the deficit on fellow Briton Rory Mcilroy in their two-horse race to finish the season as European No 1.
World No 1 Donald followed his opening 72 with a fourunder 68 to close on 140, three behind Mcilroy who dropped two strokes in the last two holes to return a 71.
US PGA Tour money- list winner Donald needs to finish equal ninth here with no more than one other competitor to become the first player to land the orders of merit on both sides of the Atlantic.
At the top of the leaderboard is fun- loving 1.90m Spaniard Quiros, winner of this year’s Dubai Desert Classic and the 2010 Qatar Masters.
He’s on track for a Middle East treble after snatching only the second eagle of the week at the par-five 18th.
Asked to explain his penchant for low rounds in the Gulf, the long-hitting Spaniard replied: “It’s sunny here and I like to play in the heat.”
Quiros, one of the longest drivers in world golf, muscled his way onto the putting surface at the 620-yard 18th with two big blows before sinking his eagle attempt.
“Rory and Luke are not the only two players in the tournament,” added Quiros.
Swede Peter Hanson, the overnight leader, added a 72 to his opening round of 64 to take second place on 136, one ahead of Mcilroy and his fellow Briton Robert Rock (69).
Mcilroy looked tired and forlorn after finishing his round in limp fashion.
The 22- year- old Northern Irishman has been suffering with a virus for a couple of weeks and hinted he would pull out of next week’s Asian Tour event in Thailand.
“To be honest I am ready for the season to be done,” Mcilroy told reporters. “But it’s up to the doctor as well.
“If she feels like I can go then I’ll make a decision whether I will or not,” he added referring to his latest doctor’s appointment today.
Earlier in the day a member of Mcilroy’s management team told Reuters the US Open champion was “exhausted”.
After his round the world No 2 opened up about the nature of his virus.
“They said it could have been Dengue fever which is obviously carried by mosquitoes,” said Mcilroy. – Reuters
THINK TANK: Luke Donald of England and his caddie John Mclaren discuss matters on the 18th hole during the second round of the Dubai World Championship yesterday.