Big names struggle as Sullivan saunters in fog-hit Abu Dhabi

Fri Jan 22, 2016 11:34am EST
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By Matt Smith

ABU DHABI (Reuters) - England’s Andy Sullivan claimed the clubhouse lead in the second round of the Abu Dhabi Golf Championship on Friday after early-morning fog left 60 players including four of the world’s top six unable to complete 18 holes.

First-round leader Bryson DeChambeau only made it to the turn, while the threesome of Masters champion Jordan Spieth, four-times major winner Rory McIlroy and world number six Rickie Fowler walked off after 13 difficult holes that yielded just four birdies between them.

Sullivan (67) was unperturbed, however, picking up shots on his first three and last three holes to reach the tournament’s half-way stage on 10 under.

“My putter was getting hot early doors and I lost my way in the middle. I’m really happy with the fight back at the end,” Sullivan told reporters.

DeChambeau is a stroke adrift, while four players -- Joost Luiten, Rafael Cabrera-Bello, Thomas Bjorn and Richard Bland -- are on seven under. The latter two have seven holes to play.

Physics student DeChambeau, resuming on eight under, rolled in eight and 20-foot birdies on his first and third holes to reclaim joint leadership, the eccentric amateur later grinning as he doffed his flat-cap and whipped up the crowd.

Yet a bogey at his last after finding the bunker dragged the Californian back to nine under.

“The last was kind of a killer, but it’s golf. I’ve just got to learn from it and say, hey, got to hit the fairway next time,” said DeChambeau, who is unusual in playing with clubs of all the same length. "I didn't have my A-game today.”   Continued...

Golf - Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship - Abu Dhabi Golf Club, United Arab Emirates - 22/1/16
England's Andy Sullivan tees off at the 18th hole watched by Northern Ireland's Darren Clarke during the second round
Action Images via Reuters / Paul Childs