Donaldson stays ahead in Dubai

MACCLESFIELD’S Jamie Donaldson signed for a three under 69 to maintain his one-shot lead and set the clubhouse target at 13 under par on a fog-delayed day at the Omega Dubai Desert Classic.

The Welshman fired a blistering 62 on day one and while he could not quite hit those heights again at Emirates Golf Club, he continues to lead a field that has just 11 players over par.

China’s Li Haotong heads up the chasing pack at 12 under par after consecutive rounds of 66. South African Branden Grace is one shot further back alongside Alexander Björk of Sweden, who is one of 66 players who will return at 7.30 am on Saturday to complete the second round following a two hour and 50 minute delay due to morning fog.

Miguel Ángel Jiménez rolled back the years with a round of 68 that included six birdies and one bogey, to take the 54 year old 21-time European Tour winner to ten under par, alongside South African Thomas Aiken and four-time Major winner Rory McIlroy, who will complete his remaining seven holes on Saturday morning.

Six players are currently tied for eighth place at nine under, while England’s Matthew Southgate is part of a group of 15 players one shot further back, after he made the second hole-in-one of the season with a nine iron from 154 yards on the seventh, en route to a round of 68.

Donaldson said: “I played nicely. Drove the ball well. Iron play was good. Took my chances when I was close enough to do so. Hit a lot of really good putts that didn’t go in, whereas yesterday they all went in, but 69 following a 62 is a solid score.

“It can always be better, can’t it, but only one bogey. I wanted to try to go flag hunting a little bit which maybe I shouldn’t have done, but happy with how I played.

 

“I don’t know where it will be at the end of the day, but I’m just concentrating on me and concentrating on putting that ball in those small fairways. You know, taking chances from there. It’s a tricky golf course that you’ve got to manage your way around well. I did that well today again, as I did yesterday.”

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