Rolex Series

Andy Sullivan grateful to be back to basics in Dubai

Andy Sullivan believes going back to his own game may have saved his career as he searches for a first Rolex Series win at the Hero Dubai Desert Classic.

The Englishman won three times in 2015 en route to a Ryder Cup debut the following year and has finished inside the top 100 on the Race to Dubai Rankings in Partnership with Rolex for 11 consecutive seasons.

Much of that success has been built around what he calls his "lemonade", the stock fade that is his trademark shot.

Like many golfers, however, he tried to make changes to achieve even more but is now back with old coach Jamie Gough and back to playing his own game.

That has resulted in back-to-back rounds of 67 at Emirates Golf Club and the 36-year-old is happy to be playing to his strengths.

"I don't know how long I'd be playing professional golf without it," he said.

"It was just me being comfortable on the golf course and when you're under pressure, you want to hit that little shot every time. I just didn't have it. I was hitting some serious wides at times, which is frightening.

"It was just more like my actual career depended on it.

"I was good at what I did and it was good enough to contend quite a lot. You just think, 'what if, what if I try and do this?'. You try and push the boundaries and it's not right.

"I think sometimes you've just got to accept what you're good at and try and improve the little one per-centers around the greens and wedge shots and stuff and that's what you've got to work with.

"I think a little bit of age has come in, finally, a bit of experience. I just swallowed my pride and said, 'Jamie, please take me back'."

Sullivan entered Friday in Dubai in a share of the lead but was three ahead on his own as he played the tougher front nine at Emirates Golf Club in 30, with par fives to come on the tenth, 13th and last.

But he could only take advantage of one of them while also dropping a shot as he came back in level par.

Only once in his 11 previous appearances at this event has he been lower after 36 holes - 11 under in 2015 when he finished in a tie for fourth - but the four-time DP World Tour winner was still left with a feeling of what could have been.

"It's sort of a different feeling," he said. "I didn't think I would ever be coming off disappointed sitting at ten under after two rounds but after that start today, I just got literally picked up where I left off yesterday and hit a lot of golf shots to sort of ten, 15 feet, rolled it lovely and then going into the back nine, I've got three par fives.

"I felt like I had a chance of really going low and didn't quite drive it as good on the back nine and hit it as close.

"Like I say, it's hard to be disappointed when you're ten under after two rounds."

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