Rolex Series

Jamieson shares lead with Morrison after testing second round in Abu Dhabi

Scott Jamieson fired a battling 74 during a wild and windy second day of the 2022 Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, and holds a share of the lead with James Morrison heading into the weekend.

Scott Jamieson

The Scot had entered round two of the first Rolex Series event on the 2022 DP World Tour season at nine under and while he, like many of the rest of the field, moved backwards in very high winds, he kept his nose in front at seven under with a late birdie.

With play then stopped due to darkness, a number of groups were left out on the course, and it was Englishman Morrison who took advantage of the less severe conditions the following morning. He closed out a second-round 71 to join Jamieson in the top spot at seven under.

Ryder Cup team-mates Viktor Hovland and Ian Poulter were then at six under, with the Englishman carding an impressive level-par 72 and Norway's Hovland matching Jamieson with a 74. They were joined by Frenchman Julien Brun, who carded a one-under 71 after finishing his final six holes on Saturday morning in two under par.

Swede Alexander Björk, Japan's Takumi Kanaya, Ireland's Shane Lowry and Belgian Thomas Pieters were then at five under.

Jamieson's second round may have taken 11 shots more than his first but was arguably equally impressive considering the conditions which resulted in just ten completed rounds of par or better.

The 38-year-old has one victory on the DP World Tour but is now looking to add a Rolex Series crown, having finished second at the 2017 Nedbank Golf Challenge hosted by Gary Player.

"It certainly wasn't easy," he said. "It's so tricky, obviously hitting shots is tricky with all the gusts but the hardest thing is putting. You get over the ball and you feel like you've got to be so tense to stop everything moving but that's the worst thing you can do when you're trying to putt.

"I holed a lot of really good putts from inside five feet today which kept my score respectable.

"It's a great test from tee-to-green, if you want to call it a test, at the mercy of whatever gust you might or might not get. You play for some wind sometimes and don't get it - and when your ball defies gravity and goes up slopes at times.

It certainly wasn't easy. I holed a lot of really good putts from inside five feet today which kept my score respectable

"Pretty happy with two over par today."

Poulter played a lovely pitch to close range to set up a birdie on the tenth and then holed a 23-footer to get up and down from the sand on the par-five 11th and sit just one off Jamieson's overnight lead.

Hovland started the day one back but three-putted the par-five 11th after getting in trouble down the left before holing from 22 feet on the next to get back to eight under.

But he missed the green at the par-three 13th and three-putted the third and, with Poulter making three-putts of his own on the 15th and first, Jamieson led by three as the morning starters finished.

He extended the lead to four at the 11th as he got up and down from the sand on the par five but bogeys came after he missed the green on the 15th and the 17th.

A four-putt at the first then brought a double-bogey and we had a three-way tie that soon become four.

Björk got up and down for a birdie at the par-five second and while he gave the shot back after finding sand off the tee at the fourth, a remarkable 90-foot putt on the ninth saw him turn in 35.

He then recovered from a ragged tee-shot on the 14th to put his approach to ten feet and share the lead.

Morrison had bogeyed the tenth after a three-putt but hit back on the next before dropping another shot on the 15th after finding sand off the tee.

A 16-footer on the third then moved him back level for the day and in a share of the lead, where he replaced Björk who bogeyed the last in a 71.

But Jamieson was not done and he put a stunning tee-shot to eight feet on the eighth to reclaim the lead before parring his final hole.

Morrison was not to be outdone. Having stopped overnight on the sixth green, the Englishman quickly resumed his morning with a par, and a birdie at the seventh was enough to guarantee a spot in Saturday's final pairing with the Scot.

Kanaya had been another player to reach eight under early in the day with birdies on the 11th and 16th as he turned in 34 but four bogeys in six holes from the first saw him fall back before he birdied the seventh to sign for a 73.

Lowry had been two over for his round after 14 holes but birdied the sixth and seventh in a 72, while Pieters signed for a 74 with a birdie and three bogeys.

Dane Jeff Winther carded the round of the day with a 69 to sit at four under alongside Spaniard Rafa Cabrera Bello and South African Erik van Rooyen - both of whom went under par with rounds of 71 - and Frenchman Victor Perez, who carded a 74.

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