Shane Lowry (7/2 DP World Tour Championship Outright), Sam Horsfield (15/2) and John Catlin (10/1) hold a share of the lead at the halfway stage of the DP World Tour Championship following a late second round slip by Rory McIlroy (5/2) in Dubai.
First-round leader McIlroy had looked on course to maintain his place at the top of the standings heading onto the 18th at Jumeirah Golf Estates, but a wayward drive followed by an aggressive third shot he sent into the greenside creek, meant the Northern Irishman signed off with a double bogey and a score 70 that leaves him one shot behind the leading trio.
Former Open champion Lowry is one of those leaders, as he mixed an eagle with five birdies on his way to a bogey-free round of 65 that leaves him on 10-under-par for the tournament alongside Englishman Horsfield and American Catlin, who signed for rounds of 66 and 65 respectively.
Lowry, who finished second at the DP World Tour Championship in 2017 and has registered two other top-10 finishes at the event, is certainly hoping he can maintain his position at the top of the standings over the course of the weekend, as he goes in search of his first European Tour title since his Open success in 2019.
“It’s two more days left and then the end of a long year-and-a-half, I suppose, long couple of years,” Lowry told reporters following his second round.
“I’m looking forward to giving everything and leaving it on the course this weekend and hopefully I’m there near the top of the leaderboard come Sunday afternoon.”
McIlroy’s late slip means he will head into the weekend in a tie for fourth alongside Sweden’s Alexander Bjork (18/1) and he will be paired world number two Collin Morikawa (9/2) during his third round.
Race to Dubai leader Morikawa, who is bidding to become the first American to top the end of season standings, sits two strokes behind McIlroy on eight-under after he signed for a second successive score of 68 on Friday.