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Kiradech Aphibarnrat was runner-up at last year's DP World Tour Championship after closing with three 67s; he went one lower today, twirling a 6-under-par 35-31=66 to jump 16 places to T6 on 8-under 136.

The big Thai clearly loves the Earth Course and sprinkled eight red number on his card in round two. Three of those came over the final four holes to pull him within three of leader Matt Wallace and secure a third-round pairing with Tommy Fleetwood. Aphibarnrat bogeyed the opening hole for the second day running but responded with par breakers at 2 and 3. After trading a bogey with a birdie at 6 and 7 he really turned on the after-burners coming up with red circles at 10, 12, 15, 16 and 18 to leap from the middle of the pack. The World No. 39, who is ranked 15th on this year's Race to Dubai, has hit 75% of the fairways so far, ranking seventh in Driving Accuracy.
Nov 16 - 9:39 AM

Tommy Fleetwood has to win this week's DP World Tour Championship to capture the Race to Dubai for a second successive season and his bid remains firmly on track after a second bogey-free round at the Earth Course, a 5-under-par 34-33=67 which took him to 8-under 136 and up four spots to tied sixth.

That's three behind leader Matt Wallace. The equation for Fleetwood is simple; he has to take the trophy and then hope great friend Francesco Molinari finishes sixth or worse. With Molinari down in T27 on 3-under after a Friday 73, Fleetwood's hopes took a jump today. He had to grind out a score in Thursday's opener, adding some gloss with birdies at two of final five holes for a 69. But this morning he looked much more fluent, picking up shots at 1, 8, 10, 11 and 15. A look at his scorecard shows that all those birdies were on par 4s. If Fleetwood can continue to keep the bogeys away and cash in on the par 5s this weekend, what looked a long-shot could become a very realistic possibility.
Nov 16 - 9:23 AM

Dean Burmester's love affair with the Earth Course at Jumeirah Golf Estates continued in round two of the DP World Tour Championship as he blitzed the desert track for a bogey-free 7-under-par 32-33=65, climbing 22 spots up the leaderboard to T6 with 8-under 136.

That's three swings back from new leader Matt Wallace, one of three players to fire 7-under today (Alexander Bjork the other). Burmester's big hitting is a great weapon here and Friday's round matched the 65 he carded in round three last year when finishing T4 on debut. The South African did the bulk of his scoring in a hot spell around the turn as he made birdie-3 at 8, 9, 10 and 11. Either side of that he birdied 2 and 18 but failure to pick up gains on the other two par 5s (7 and 14) gives the impression that Burmester will feel he left some shots out there. The 29-year-old fired 11-under on the weekend here 12 months ago so a repeat of that and he'd be hard to stop. The World No. 160 only moved into the 60-man field due to a good performance (T11) in last week's Nedbank Golf Challenge so this is something of a free hit and he's making the most of it so far.
Nov 16 - 9:11 AM

Eddie Pepperell gave it a go at the season-ending DP World Tour Championship but his back troubles forced him to withdraw ahead of round two.

The Englishman recently made the journey to China for the WGC-HSBC Champions but was left in pain on the physio's table instead of teeing it up. With a few weeks of rest he hoped to compete this week in Dubai and opened the week with a 5-over 75 to find himself just one stroke in front of last place. He provided an update today on social media, starting with an apology to first alternate Benjamin Hebert and then saying "My back was good yesterday but unfortunately not right today. Pretty gutted and frustrated to WD today." A pair of wins this year has vaulted him to 35th in the OWGR but he remains a risky option for gamers moving forward until he can give his back a rest. As we know with back injuries, simply resting doesn't always do the trick.
Nov 16 - 9:06 AM

Adrian Otaegui stayed in the mix after round two of the DP World Tour Championship at Jumeirah Golf Estates in Dubai, piecing together a 4-under-par 34-34=68 to reach 10-under 134 at the midpoint, good enough for a three-way tie for second place and one behind the lead of Matt Wallace.

Otaegui, a winner of the Belgian Knockout earlier this year, played a bogey-free opener to share the first-round lead with Jordan Smith and dropped just a single shot today, at the very first hole. It proved a very minor distraction for the Spaniard as he hit back with a pair of deuces on the par 3s at 4 and 6 along with another par breaker at 7. He stayed in the top two by splashing more red numbers at 11 and 14 but couldn't find the birdie at the par-5 18th that would have seen him tie Wallace at the top. Otaegui has resided in the top two after 36 holes on five previous occasions on the European Tour but gone backwards each time, finishing 10-7-13-6-19, so that's a trend he'll want to reverse this weekend even though it's a big ask in such elite company.
Nov 16 - 9:00 AM

Nicholas Lindheim fired a 5-over-par 36-39=75 (Seaside Course) during round one of The RSM Classic and then withdrew from the event prior to this second round.

Lindheim is no stranger to mid-tournament WDs, as this will be the sixth of his career in just 50 total starts. He's also backed out of a few recent events where he was an alternate. There was no reason cited today but he has cited illness and knee injuries in the past. Lindheim has used the Web.com Tour Finals each of the last two seasons to earn his playing privileges. It's hard to maintain status on TOUR when you are withdrawing from over 10 percent of events entered. Gamers can stay away until he proves a clean bill of health.
Nov 16 - 8:58 AM

Jordan Smith, the joint-leader overnight, tacked on a 4-under-par 34-34=68 to his opening 66 to reach 10-under 134 after 36 holes of the DP World Tour Championship, one back from new pacesetter Matt Wallace.

That's a strong follow-up lap from Smith, who outpaced two bogeys with six birdies to go into the weekend in a tie for second with Danny Willett and Adrian Otaegui. Smith traded a birdie at 2 with a bogey at 6 and then had to settle for par at the 523-yard 7th. It looked as if he could get rather left behind with his rivals making a bunch of birdies elsewhere but Smith found a groove with a run of four birdies in five holes (8, 9, 10 and 12) to hit double digits under par. He dropped a shot at 15 but got it back at the next and closed with a pair of pars. This is the first time in the 26-year-old's European Tour career that he's gone into the weekend in the top two. Smith was third after 36 holes of last month's British Masters and held his position, finishing T3.
Nov 16 - 8:47 AM

Danny Willett put on a repeat performance in round two of the DP World Tour Championship in Dubai, hoisting up a 5-under-par 33-34=67 to hit 10-under at the midpoint, just a single shot behind leader Matt Wallace.

As with his opening 67, the Englishman mixed seven birdies against two bogeys at the Earth Course, picking up three shots on the par 5s for the second day running to end T2 alongside Jordan Smith and Adrian Otaegui. Willett made a sticky start with an opening bogey but roared to the turn in 33 with a run of four straight birdies from Nos. 6-9. He also opened his second nine with bogey but overcame the blip with further red numbers at 12, 14 and 18. Willett, who has been putting in the hours with coach Sean Foley, is delighted to be back to full health and said yesterday: "It's a shame it's the last event of the season. From kind of June, July onwards, we were making better strides and we could work harder and work longer and that's had a big impact. The longer you can work, the quicker your game is going to be and at first I was struggling. Now we're on track and we're able to work a bit harder and I'm seeing the results quite nicely in practice."
Nov 16 - 8:13 AM

The real Rory McIlroy is re-emerging at this week's DP World Tour Championship in Dubai and he nudged four spots up the leaderboard today to T6 following a 5-under-par 33-34=67 in round two which put him at 8-under 136.

That's just three swings back from leader Matt Wallace. McIlroy came into this week looking somewhat flat after T21 in the Nedbank Golf Challenge and T54 at the WGC-HSBC Champions but he's a two-time winner here at the Earth Course and gives the impression he could play it in his sleep. Rory gave himself a bunch of looks on the front nine, making birdies at 1, 2, 6 and 9 while giving one back at 3. He continued to flag hunt and picked up more shots at 10, 14 and 16 coming home, making another bogey at 13. His superb record in this event and in the desert as a whole makes the four-time major winner a huge threat over the final 36 holes.
Nov 16 - 8:03 AM

Patrick Reed's competitive juices were in full flow once more at the DP World Tour Championship in Dubai, the Masters champ shooting a bogey-free 6-under-par 33-33=66 to outscore playing partner Rory McIlroy by a shot and post 9-under 135 at the midpoint, good enough for T4 and just two off the lead.

The two famously fought out a thrilling Ryder Cup singles battle at Hazeltine in 2016 and they were a combined 11-under today with Reed coming out on top again. It didn't look that way early as the American made a single birdie and six pars over his first seven holes. But he took flight around the turn, connecting four birdies from Nos. 8-11 before a walk-off par breaker sealed his 66. "It was a good round," said Reed. "I went out, I stayed patient. I think that was the key, staying patient around this golf course because once you start hitting the ball well and you get the putter rolling a little bit, you can make birdies in bunches out here." Reed has finished T10 in both his previous two starts at the Earth Course (2015 and 2017).
Nov 16 - 7:52 AM

Matt Wallace stepped on the gas in round two of the European Tour's season-ending DP World Tour Championship in Dubai, thrashing a bogey-free 7-under-par 32-33=65 to move into the lead on 11-under 133. UPDATE: Wallace ended R2 still one clear of Smith and Otaegui.

With play nearly done, that's a shot clear of Jordan Smith and Adrian Otaegui, who have one hole to complete. Wallace finished fast with four birdies in five holes in a first-round 68 and ticked his first two today. He kept his forward move going with gains at 5 and 7 before another burst of red at 11, 13 and 14. "That's up there with one of the best this year," said Wallace of his round. "I'm playing with freedom now." While Wallace has made the golfing world sit up and take notice with three wins this year, the caveat is that they've all come in fairly minor events. A victory here would change that perception and his play so far is even more impressive given that this is his debut at the Earth Course. Wallace has had a piece of the 36-hole lead three times in his brief European Tour career, converting the first of those when going wire-to-wire in last year's Open de Portugal.
Nov 16 - 7:45 AM

Alexander Bjork was the big mover on the second morning of the DP World Tour Championship in Dubai, signing off with eagle-3 in a 7-under-par 33-32=65 to post the early clubhouse target of 7-under 137.

That's T1 on the live leaderboard alongside Wade Ormsby (7 holes) and Jordan Smith (2). The lead surely won't hold up unless the winds really blow but the Swede will feel he's back at the business end of the leaderboard after starting the day in T39. Bjork set the tone with a pair of opening par breakers and added two more at 6 and 8 following a bogey at 4. Coming home, he surrounded a dropped shot at 13 with red circles at 12 and 14 before ending 3-3-3. That equated to birdie-par-eagle, the grandstand finish achieved with a monster putt at 18. Bjork twice shot 67 when T17 on debut last year and today's 65 is further evidence that he can go low on the Earth Course and play well in the desert (he was T6 at the Dubai Desert Classic earlier this year).
Nov 16 - 4:24 AM

PGA TOUR rookie Sungjae Im was slow out of the gate but rallied late to record a 4-under-par 35-33=68 during round one of The RSM Classic, good for a spot inside the early top 10.

The young Korean kicked off his week on the 10th tee of Sea Island's Plantation Course. He scribbled six pars before rinsing his approach at the par-5 16th, leading to a bogey. Im didn't panic, responding with four straight birdies including a hole-out birdie from the rough at the par-4 first hole. He would add one more on his way out at the closing par 4. Making the sixth start of his rookie season, he has now signed for sub-70 numbers in nine (of 17) rounds in the fall. Gamers should continue to target the 20-year-old in all formats.
Nov 15 - 5:41 PM

Ted Potter, Jr. tidied a bogey-free, 4-under-par 35-33=68 during round one of The RSM Classic, good for a share of seventh place as he readies for the Seaside Course on Friday.

The Wizard piped 12 (of 14) fairways today while taking on the Plantation Course at Sea Island Golf Club. That allowed him safe passage to 15 greens in regulation. That allowed him a somewhat stress-free stroll around the tree-lined track but I'm sure he feels he left a few strokes out there. On the bright side, he turned in a blemish-free card and he sits inside the top 10 after day one. TPJ has now posted round of 68 or better in seven of his last nine rounds at The RSM Classic.
Nov 15 - 5:32 PM

Patton Kizzire finished with a flurry of birdies, arriving at the finish line with a 4-under-par 33-35=68 to his name, good for a T7 on the leaderboard after round one of The RSM Classic.

Kizzire got his week started on the 10th tee at Sea Island Golf Club's Plantation Course. He couldn't get much started as he traded two birdies with two bogeys, needing 24 putts over the first 14 holes. From there, he needed just four putts to finish the round, all of them resulting in a birdie. The Sea Island resident is making his fifth straight appearance at this event and looking to post a new personal best here. That won't be too difficult since last year's T45 is the mark to beat.
Nov 15 - 5:27 PM



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