European Tour

McIlroy happy to lead again

Rory McIlroy (AFP)
Rory McIlroy (AFP)

Dubai - A birdie at the last gave Rory McIlroy the outright lead at the halfway stage of the Dubai Desert Classic on Friday and that counts for the Northern Irishman.

He believes he is a good front-runner and would prefer to be ahead rather than waiting in ambush.

"I'm leading the golf tournament. I've been in this position before and I've gone on to win," he said after a 70 left him at 11 under for the tournament, one stroke clear of young American Brooks Koepka.

"I've led from the front quite well in tournaments that I have won and I feel like I'm playing well. I know the (Majlis) course as well as ayone else.

"So, yeah, I mean, I am expecting to go out there and shoot two good scores over the weekend and hopefully lift the trophy."

While it is true that McIlroy has shown he can win tournaments wire-to-wire, he also has some bad collapses to his name - notably at the 2010 British Open at St Andrews where he followed an opening 63 with an 80 the next day and at the following year's Masters where he blew a four-shot lead on the final day.

At one stage on Friday, McIlroy had stretched his lead to three strokes and briefly it looked like he could get away from the field before failing to get under par on the relatively easier back nine.

"It looked for a while like I could have built a sort of three or four-shot lead, but one will have to do and I'm still in the lead of this golf tournament so that's not all bad."

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