Rory McIlroy and Collin Morikawa on cut-mark at Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship after windy second day | Golf News

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Thirty-eight players to return on Saturday morning to complete their second rounds; Rory McIlroy and Collin Morikawa currently sit tied-60th and inside the projected cut-mark of three over – watch live this weekend on Sky Sports Golf

Last Updated: 21/01/22 2:42pm

Rory McIlroy sits on the projected cut-mark of three over in Abu Dhabi

Rory McIlroy sits on the projected cut-mark of three over in Abu Dhabi

Rory McIlroy and Collin Morikawa face a nervous wait to see if they have made it through to the weekend at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, where Scott Jamieson holds a narrow lead.

McIlroy made four bogeys in a five-hole stretch on his back nine at a windy Yas Links, where gusts reached 35mph, before salvaging a final-hole birdie to post a second-round 75 and move back up to the projected cut-mark of three over.

The Northern Irishman is joined 10 off the pace by Morikawa, who was two strokes below the projected cut mark when he finished a two-over 74, with both players having to wait until the second round is completed on Saturday morning to see if they remain in the tournament.

Alexander Bjork made an unlikely birdie during the second round of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, holing his effort from 90 feet at the par-four ninth

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Alexander Bjork made an unlikely birdie during the second round of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, holing his effort from 90 feet at the par-four ninth

Alexander Bjork made an unlikely birdie during the second round of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, holing his effort from 90 feet at the par-four ninth

The pair sit in joint-60th spot, with the top 65 and ties making it through to the weekend, but 38 players were unable to complete their rounds before play was halted due to darkness. Those players will return at 7.30am (3.30am GMT) on Saturday to finish and could change the cut mark.

Overnight-leader Jamieson briefly had a four-shot advantage but ended the day one ahead after a penultimate-hole bogey saw him sign for a two-over 74, while Ian Poulter and Viktor Hovland sit a shot off the pace after scores of 72 and 74 respectively.

Viktor Hovland is a shot off the lead going into the weekend

Viktor Hovland is a shot off the lead going into the weekend

James Morrison is also on six under with four holes to go and Shane Lowry is in the group two behind alongside Alexander Bjork, who holed a 90-foot birdie putt on his way to a one-under 71, while a round-of-the-day 68 lifted Jeff Winther within three of the lead.

Defending champion Tyrrell Hatton failed to find a birdie and double-bogeyed his final hole to struggle to a five-over 77, dropping him six behind, with two-time Abu Dhabi winner Tommy Fleetwood on level par after a second-round 76.

Tyrrell Hatton required the assistance of Wayne 'Radar' Riley and the commentary team to help find his ball in the rough at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship!

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Tyrrell Hatton required the assistance of Wayne ‘Radar’ Riley and the commentary team to help find his ball in the rough at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship!

Tyrrell Hatton required the assistance of Wayne ‘Radar’ Riley and the commentary team to help find his ball in the rough at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship!

Stars struggle in the Middle East

McIlroy opened with five straight pars, before bouncing back from a three-putt bogey at the sixth to fire his approach at the par-five seventh to inside six feet and convert the eagle putt.

The Northern Irishman missed a seven-footer to save par at the ninth but looked in little danger of the cut-mark until he followed back-to-back bogeys from the 13th by dropping another shot at the par-four 16th.

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McIlroy failed to get up and down from a greenside bunker and bogeyed the par-three 17th, with the 32-year-old then rolling in from eight feet at the par-five 18th for his only birdie of the day to keep his tournament alive.

Morikawa also found life difficult in the testing conditions as he mixed a lone birdie with three bogeys, although the reigning DP World Tour champion looks to have avoided a first missed cut of the year.

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Conditions ‘actually kind of miserable’

Ian Poulter (-6): “That was tough. That was tricky. That was dicey hitting some of those shots into the pins right on the edge of the water, in some respects you enjoy it and in some respects it’s actually kind of miserable.”

Ian Poulter follows his ball on the 18th hole

Ian Poulter follows his ball on the 18th hole

Shane Lowry (-5): “I feel like I didn’t really have my ‘A’ game in the wind today that I normally would. I hit some loose shots that generally would be better but it was just so tough out there, so tough, every part of it. Putting was probably the hardest thing, but yeah, I’m absolutely thrilled with 72 to be honest.”

Rory McIlroy (+3): “I feel like I’m hitting it well. Hit it well on the range this morning. It’s all in there. But hopefully I get to play the weekend and we’ll have a couple of calm days. I’d just like another two competitive days of play and see where I’m at.”

Watch the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship throughout the weekend live on Sky Sports. Live coverage continues on Saturday with Featured Groups from 5am on Sky Sports Golf, ahead of full coverage from 7am.

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