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Donald bounces back from slow start

Luke Donald's shoulders slumped when he bogeyed the opening hole for the second round running at the Dubai World Championship today.

But, just as he did in his first-round 72, the world number one came straight back with three birdies in the next four holes to boost his hopes of adding the European money list crown to his PGA Tour title in America in October.

Nobody has ever done the double in the same season, and Rory McIlroy was the only remaining challenger to Donald. The bad news for the Englishman was that McIlroy, needing to win to have a chance, had started the final event with a six-under-par 66 to be in third place, two behind Swede Peter Hanson.

Donald needed to finish in nothing worse than a two-way tie for ninth to make sure, but was only joint 26th when he resumed - and instantly hit trouble.

Having only just avoided the bushes on the right the day before, he headed towards them again and even hit a provisional ball - a second drive - just in case his ball was not found.

It was in deep rough short of the bushes as it turned out and after hacking out he almost pitched into the hole with his third shot, but then missed his four-foot par attempt.

He made no mistake from the same distance on the long next, however, and converted a 15-foot opportunity at the third to climb to one under, and when he birdied again on the fifth he had improved to 14th spot.

With the leaders out last, McIlroy was in the penultimate group with Sergio Garcia - chasing a third straight Tour win and five under overnight - while Hanson had Paul Lawrie for company after the Scot's 65.


From Belfast Telegraph