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McIlroy sees Dubai lead cut


Rory McIlroy

Rory McIlroy

Rory McIlroy

Rory McIlroy still leads the Omega Dubai Desert Classic after a second-round 68 - but his advantage over Sergio Garcia and Thomas Aiken is down to one, and Tiger Woods is in the hunt too.

Woods followed up his "scratchy" opening 71 with a best-of-the-day 66 to move to seven under and joint fifth place. Without a win for almost 15 months, he even led for a few minutes after starting the day 27th, but that was before McIlroy hit the Emirates course again.

The 21-year-old Northern Irishman came back from a bogey on the second with five birdies, the last of them on the long 18th edging him ahead of ex-world number two Garcia and South African Aiken.

They both had a second successive 67, the back-to-form Spaniard keeping a bogey off his card for the second day running.

McIlroy said: "I felt a little more at ease with my swing on Thursday, but I stayed patient and picked up the birdies when I could.

"Maybe this time last year I would not have been able to grind out a 68 after the start I had. Rounds like this prove I am doing the right thing."

Woods charged past playing partners Lee Westwood and Martin Kaymer, the two men who have overtaken him in the rankings. Westwood handed in a 70 for five under, Kaymer a 71 for four under.

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Woods commented: "I played myself right back into the tournament. I felt I hit the ball a lot better and the greens were absolutely perfect.

"It was steady. I didn't make as many mistakes as Thursday and I felt it was important to post a number."

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