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ABU DHABI (Reuters) - Rickie Fowler suffered a costly triple-bogey in the second round of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship on Friday as the American’s challenge for a first European Tour title floundered.
The world number 10 began the day on five under, level with playing partner and four-times major winner Rory McIlroy and three adrift of overnight leader Martin Kaymer.
But ultimately Fowler was fortunate to still be in the tournament after shooting 75 for an aggregate 142, or two under, which is the cut mark.
“I shouldn’t have been anywhere close to the cut line,” Fowler told reporters. “(It would) be nice to get a good one together tomorrow and see if I can salvage a decent finish.”
Fowler, who finished joint-fifth or better at all four majors last year, is renowned for his consistency and he began Friday well, picking up birdies at holes two and seven, but the eighth was his undoing.
He carded an eight after fading his tee shot into a bush. Unable to find his ball, he teed off again.
“I was swinging great coming out, the driver didn’t feel very comfortable in my hands, but I was getting it around,” said the 26-year-old Fowler.
“My hand felt a little funny coming down and just made a funky move through the ball, my body stopped and flipped and I ended up in the junk (on the) left.
“There are a few holes out here where you can’t miss it in one direction and that happens to be one of them.”
Kaymer leads at the halfway stage on 131, or 13 under with Belgium’s Thomas Pieters on 132 and McIlroy on 133.
Editing by Ed Osmond