Rory McIlroy made inroads into Henrik Stenson’s Dubai Desert Classic lead as the Northern Irish teenager moved to within two shots of the Dubai-based Swede midway through his delayed second round at Emirates Golf Club.
First round leader McIlroy was only able to play three holes of his second round on Friday with six hours lost to fog over the opening two days and briefly slipped back to seven-under-par after dropping a shot at the first.
But after play started on time, the 19-year-old picked up two shots in four holes around the turn to move onto nine under through 11.
Stenson leapt to the top of the leaderboard on Friday after carding a bogey-free seven-under-par 65 to edge ahead of the equally impressive Richard Green.
Green, like Stenson a former Dubai champion, blazed a flawless nine under 63 to sit a shot behind the Swede at ten-under-par.
World number two Sergio Garcia sits two strokes further back also in the clubhouse following a 66 from the Spaniard on Friday.
Louis Oosthuizen, runner up at the last two events in Abu Dhabi and Qatar, joined Garcia at eight under after 12 holes of his second round courtesy of a hole-in-one at the 168-yard 11th which helped the South African pick up four shot in the three holes after the turn.
Spain’s Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano, Frenchman Gregory Havret and English duo Justin Rose and Graeme Storm moved onto seven under midway through their second rounds.
Asian number one Jeev Milka Singh was already safely in the clubhouse at seven under after carding