Rolex Series

Day two digest: 2022 Dubai Desert Classic

Everything you need to know from day two of the second Rolex Series event of 2022.

Joost Luiten

A big bird sent Justin flying, the defending champ was in the wars, everyone was chipping in and those that weren't were holing bombs on day two of the 2022 Dubai Desert Classic.

Here is everything you need to know from Friday at Emirates Golf Club.

Harding hits the front

It was an early alarm call for Justin Harding, who had to return to complete the final hole of his first round on Friday morning. He duly made a birdie and followed it with a 68 in round two that got him to 11 under and into a two-shot lead. "I've played this golf course well over the years," he said. "Had a good final round a couple of years back and was in contention last year and played badly on the Sunday. The game seems to be close. It's just a matter of, if I can control the putter and make some putts, we are always going to be there and thereabouts, which is nice." Tyrrell Hatton was his nearest challenger, with the Englishman's Ryder Cup team-mates Viktor Hovland and Rory McIlroy also in hot pursuit.

Harding's big bird

The South African holed out from 183 yards for eagle - yes, you read that right. 183 yards.

Who needs putters?

Not these guys - they were holing out from all over the place around the greens.

The putters that were used were getting hot in the desert

We have brand new greens this week at Emirates Golf Club and the players look to be enjoying them.

That's what friends are for

Paul Casey spoke in his on-course interview on Thursday of his friendship with caddie John 'Johnny Long Socks' McLaren, who is taking a break from his sabbatical to be on the bag this week. So when Casey tweaked his neck picking a tee up on the range, who was the man to tend his injury?

And while the defending champion was clearly struggling with his injury throughout his round, he was still turning on the magic.

Christmas tree gives Bland some needle

Golfers have had their fair share of injuries when not playing the game down the years. From Thomas Levet jumping in the water after winning the 2011 Open de France to Rory McIlroy playing football and even - in the case of Greg Norman and Jamie Donaldson - exploits with chainsaws. But a Christmas tree injury is a new one on us. "I pulled an intercostal muscle trying to take the Christmas tree down," revealed Richard Bland after his round on day two. "The Saturday before Abu Dhabi I didn't think I was going to be playing it was that bad but it got better a lot quicker so I made the trip out." Opening rounds of 68-69 suggest the Englishman is now all spruced up.

Richard Bland

Game respects game

Who do World Number Ones practise with? Fellow World Number Ones, of course. Lee Westwood and Adam Scott got some work done on the range.

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