Hole-in-one leaves McIlroy nicely poised in Abu Dhabi

Richard Finch missed the cut in Abu Dhabi by two shots.
Richard Finch missed the cut in Abu Dhabi by two shots.
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MARTIN KAYMER holds a one-shot lead in the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship after carding a five-under-par 67 yesterday, with

Rory McIlroy finished the day two shots off the pace after a round of 66, which included a first career hole-in-one.

Kaymer, winner of this tournament in 2008, 2010 and 2011, made 10 birdies and a couple of bogeys on Thursday to surge to the summit, and he continued his fine form on day two.

The German was one shot clear of Belgium’s Thomas Pieters, who missed the chance to stay tied for first place after a bogey on his final hole of the day.

World No 1 McIlroy climbed five places to third, the first tournament hole in one of his professional career on the par-three 15th.

The Northern Irishman also carded five birdies and a bogey to register 66 and go 11-under.

McIlroy’s playing partner Rickie Fowler did not enjoy as much luck as the reigning Open and PGA champion. The American had a triple bogey after finding the deep rough on the eighth before two more bogeys on the back nine left him on two under, just above the projected cut.

England’s James Morrison was in fourth place on nine under following his second round of 67, while France’s Alexander Levy and Australia’s Richard Green were a stroke further back in a tie for fifth.

“I guess the greens, I can read them very well and my stroke always feels well when I come here,” said Kaymer.

Speaking about his hole in one, McIlroy said: “It was a perfect number, a straight downwind 177. As soon as it left the bat it looked like it had a chance. It’s my first one ever in competition as a pro, and obviously beers are on me tonight.”

Of the four-strong Yorkshire contingent, only Sheffield’s Danny Willett made it through to the weekend, following up his opening day 70 with a one-under par round of 71 yesterday.

Matthew Fitzpatrick missed out by one shiot, after a par round yesterday, while Richard Finch’s efforts proving in vain despite a second day score of 69 leaving him two adrift of the cut.

Malton’s Simon Dyson was one shot further back on one over after carding 72.