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Saturday, 24 November 2012
Luke Donald  (Getty Images)
Luke Donald (Getty Images)
Luke Donald will probably have his hands full just trying to beat Rory McIlroy in Dubai this weekend, but there is also a European Tour record to aim for.

Not since Jesper Parnevik at the Scandinavian Masters in 1995 has anyone won a European Tour title without a single bogey in 72 holes.

Donald is halfway to that after error-free rounds of 65 and 68, but they left him in a tie with McIlroy and Scot Marc Warren going into the third round of the lucrative DP World Tour Championship.

"Obviously I haven't dropped a shot in 36 holes, so I feel good about that," he said. "It's a great field in general and it usually produces a really exciting weekend.

"It's the last tournament of the year and we are looking to go out on a high note.

"Rory is playing well and a bunch of other guys are playing well. It should make for a fun weekend."

He and McIlroy are numbers one and two in the Official World Golf Ranking following Donald's victory in Japan last Sunday. Warren is ranked a 189th but outscored Donald by one yesterday and would love to do the same in his head-to-head with the Northern Irishman this afternoon.

McIlroy has opened the event 66-67, the same as Warren, despite feeling the effects of what he thinks has been a touch of sunstroke.

This time last year it was suspected Dengue fever he was suffering from, but the 23 year old said: "It's nothing to with Dubai. It's something about this time of year; it's all the travel we do.

"All that time on planes is not great for you."

McIlroy has been to Turkey, China, Singapore, Hong Kong and now the Middle East since The Ryder Cup in Chicago eight weeks ago.

All 12 of Europe's heroes are in the 56-strong field, but it is South Africans Louis Oosthuizen and Branden Grace who resumed one stroke behind the leading trio.

While McIlroy is going for a fifth win of 2012 and Donald a fourth, Grace is hoping for his fifth victory just 11 months after he was at The European Tour Qualifying School.

This year's school began in Spain today and the 24 year old from Pretoria said: "If they have a think about what I've achieved then anything is possible.

"I was one of those guys last year, so things can change and it changes quickly."

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Tournament Leaderboard

Pos Player nameNatHolePar
1MCILROY, RoryNIR18-23
2ROSE, JustinENG18-21
T3SCHWARTZEL, CharlRSA18-18
T3DONALD, LukeENG18-18
5OOSTHUIZEN, LouisRSA18-17
6GRACE, BrandenRSA18-16
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