Rolex Series

Alex Noren - My start was like a punch in the face

Alex Noren was delighted to recover from a shaky start on day two and keep himself right in contention heading into the weekend at the DP World Tour Championship.

Alex Noren

The Swede opened with a 66 at Jumeirah Golf Estates but was one over through six holes on Friday as some of his rivals made a fast start in Dubai.

A birdie on the seventh then steadied the ship and a second-round 69 left Noren just three shots off the lead as he chases a third Rolex Series victory.

Many of the field have spoken of how different the Earth Course is playing this week and while Noren admitted he may have been lulled into a false sense of security initially, he was happy with his performance over 36 holes.

"Yesterday felt sort of easier than today," he said. "We teed off earlier, no wind, no expectations really. Of course you want to do well from the start but I got going quite early in the round. 

"Today was sort of like you get a punch in the face when you kind of think the course is maybe easier than it is. If you are out of position a few times on the front nine, it's tougher than when you drive it in play. 

"From seven, I started playing better and got my head around it and yeah, I'm happy with the last 11, 12 holes.

"I don't know what it is but it's sort of big-ish greens, you think it's going to be easy to make a few birdies here and there but you've got to hit it close. There's a lot of grain.

"It's easy to get frustrated, especially when you see other guys moving up the leaderboard and making birdies, like today Tyrrell in the beginning was on fire, and in the heat as well. It's pretty hot. 

"I know exactly what the course plays like. You pretty much know where the pins are going to be. 

"It plays a little bit different from three years ago when I was here last time, a little bit more rough. So like try to avoid the bogeys when you're out of position, maybe try to play a little safer. Maybe just hit the green instead of trying to hit close with the wedges from the rough because it's not a guarantee to even hit the greens from the rough. 

"And then keep the driver in the air to get up there because this course, you need long drives, even if you don't hit the fairway always. You just need it up there."

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