Rory McIlroy remains on course for victory at Dubai

Highlights from the second round of the Dubai Desert Classic at the Emirates Golf Club

Briton Jamie Donaldson fired an impressive 62 to lead on day one of the Dubai Desert Classic on Thursday, with English duo David Horsey and Anthony Wall trailing one stroke behind.

"The front nine was not a true reflection of where my game is but, after making a good two-putt on nine (to save par), I had a little talk to myself and played the back nine much better", he said. Li's total is one short of the record on the Majlis Course after three circuits, set by Stephen Gallacher when he claimed the first of his back-to-back triumphs in 2013.

On another low-scoring day, Alex Levy of France made a hole-in-one in a round of 65, a score which was matched by playing partner Haydn Porteous of South Africa.

McIlroy, who returned from a three-month absence owing to a rib injury to finish joint-third in Abu Dhabi last week, hit a bogey-free round to remain in contention.

A couple of loose drives resulted in a par on the par-5 third hole and a bogey on the par-4 eighth, and there was another dropped shot on the par-3 fourth hole. "I've never been in this position but I'm happy to see my game in this shape". 'I knew the conditions would be great and there were a couple of par fives to play but I took care of some other holes as well, so I'm really pleased.

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He was unable to shake the attention of McIlroy, though, as the four-time major victor came roaring back into contention with a blemish-free run to the clubhouse.

It guaranteed that he goes out in the final group in the final round, walking the fairways with a two-time victor of the tournament and a four-time major champion. "I showed that even whenever I didn't have my best stuff today I was able to battle around and get in at a decent score".

The low round of the day was a 9-under 63 by Andy Sullivan of England, who moved to fifth on the leaderboard at 16 under.

One of the biggest challenges for McIlroy on the final day could be keeping patient.

"Look forward to getting out there again this afternoon".

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