Sore finishes for Bob MacIntyre and Rory McIlroy as Shane Lowry shares Dubai lead

Bob MacIntyre and Rory McIlroy both took the gloss off their day’s work with frustrating finishes as Shane Lowry swept into a share of the halfway lead in the DP World Tour Championship in Dubai.

Bob MacIntyre shows his frustration after finishing the second round of the DP World Tour Championship with a three-putt bogey from below the hole on the Earth Course at Jumeirah Golf Estates. Picture: Andrew Redington/Getty Images.
Bob MacIntyre shows his frustration after finishing the second round of the DP World Tour Championship with a three-putt bogey from below the hole on the Earth Course at Jumeirah Golf Estates. Picture: Andrew Redington/Getty Images.

With each of them standing at four-under after 17 holes for the second circuit in the season-ending event, it would have been job done for the day for MacIntyre and McIlroy even if they’d signed off with a par-5 on the Earth Course at Jumeirah Golf Estates.

But the steam was coming out of MacIntyre’s ears as a three-putt from below the hole left him having to settle for a 6 before McIlroy, having found water with his third shot, then ran up a 7 in the final group.

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Neither was necessarily a disaster, with McIlroy (70) just one shot off the lead and MacIntyre (68) two shots further behind, but, at the same time, they left bad tastes.

“Yeah, it wasn't the greatest way to finish,” admitted McIlroy, who had started the day with a two-shot lead after an opening 65 but is now playing catch up heading into the weekend.

Lowry, his Irish team-mate in this year’s Olympics, carded a 65 to move to 10-under alongside American John Catlin (65) and England’s Sam Horsfield (66), with McIlroy sharing fourth spot with Swede Alexander Bjork (67).

Taking up where he’d left off on the opening day, McIlroy once again displayed some majestic short-game skills but, from the tee in particular, he admitted this effort had been a “little scrappy” at times.

The four-time major winner added: “I was just sort of holding it together most of the day, but felt like I was doing okay. It would have been nice to finish off a bit better, but still right in the golf tournament.

Rory McIlroy ruefully glances at the spot where his third shot found the creek at the 18th hole, leading to a double-bogey 7. Picture: Warren Little/Getty Images.

“The good stuff is in there and I feel like 70 is sort of the worst I could have shot today, especially with the finish and, hopefully that's the bad one out of the way.”

While Lowry claimed earlier in the week that he’s running off the fumes of an “oily rag” after being drained by his Ryder Cup debut, the 2019 Open champion is now braced for a big final push at the end of the campaign.

He described his work so far this week in the desert as “straightforward” and is now aiming to add to his victory in the 2019 Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

“I feel like my game is in good shape and I'm looking forward to giving everything and leaving it on the course this weekend,” said Lowry, who lit up his second-day effort with an outrageous chip-on for an eagle at the par-5 14th.

Shane Lowry acknowledges the crowd after moving into a share of the halfway lead in the DP World Tour Championship in Dubai. Picture: Andrew Redington/Getty Images.

Sitting in a share of sixth spot alongside Martin Kaymer after second 68, Open champion Collin Morikawa remains on course to become the first American to win the Race to Dubai.

Grant Forrest, who is trying to finish in the top 30 in that battle to secure a spot in next year’s Open at St Andrews, sits 40th in the projected standings despite lying on four-under.

“I didn’t have my best stuff today, but I dug in well and made a couple of good putts, which I didn’t make last week or yesterday,” he said after opening with two 70s.

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