Stenson jumps ahead of Rory in Dubai

Second Round – European Tour – DP World Tour Championship – Jumeriah Golf Estates’ Earth Course – Dubai, United Arab Emirates –

Henrik Stenson crashed Rory McIlroy’s return to competitive golf in round two at the DP World Tour Championship.

Stenson, the defending champion after winning by six shots a year ago, rallied to shoot 6-under-66 to reach a 10-under tally and command the overall lead at Jumeriah Golf Estates in Dubai. Stenson hit all 14 fairways in the second round, 16 of 18 Greens In Regulation and needed just 30 putts in Friday’s round.

McIlroy failed to back-up his opening round 66 on a day when low scores were the norm in Dubai on the Earth Course. Rory shot 70 hitting a few awkward shots showing his rusty after taking nearly two months off.

Justin Rose shot 6-under-66 to climb back into the tournament. He is T-5 through 36 holes alongside overnight co-leader Shane Lowry and Thornbjorn Olesen, who won the tour’s Perth International in late October.

Rafael Cabrera-Bello carded the round of the day — a 7-under-64 — including five straight birdies at one point.

Other headliners: Louis Oosthuizen is T-17, while Martin Kaymer and Lee Westwood are both T-23 at the moment in the no-cut event. Graeme McDowell sits at T-26.

McIlroy was the betting favorite coming in at 4-to-1 odds at, while Stenson was second at 8-1.

Look for Rory and Stenson to continue to duel in Dubai throughout the weekend.

Other Golf News:

  • Julieta Granada (6-under-66) opens the second round at the LPGA Tour’s CME Group Tour Championship with a two-shot lead over Sandra Gal. Stacy Lewis is T-3 just three back. For Granada, she has just one LPGA Tour title winning back in 2006 as a rookie. This season she has seven Top 10 finishes. Granada entered this week as a 125-1 betting selection.
  • Hideki Matsuyama (20-under) leads the Japan Tour’s Dunlap Phoenix Open after 36 holes. Matsuyama, 20th in the world rankings, is a shot clear of Jordan Spieth. Webb Simpson is struggling at T-47.
  • Michael Wright (9-under) leads Down Under at the Beteasy Australian Masters in Melbourne through two rounds on the Australasian Tour. Geoff Ogilvy is T-7, while World No. 2 and two-time defending champion Adam Scott is T-12 alongside Marcus Fraser. American Boo Weekley is even and sits T-36, while Aussie Greg Chalmers missed the cut.