McIlroy and Donald set for shoot-out in the sun

The Race to Dubai has been run and won but the European Tour has been handed an end of season shootout, with world number one and two, Rory McIlroy and Luke Donald, tied for the lead on 11-under par heading into the weekend rounds of the DP World Tour Championship.

McIroy posted a second round 67 before being joined by Donald who birdied the last for a 68. Joining them is Scotland’s Marc Warren, ranked 189th in the world, who carded a 67 and will play alongside McIlroy on day three of the $8m (€6.2m) event.

McIlroy battled the effects of too much sun on day one but is confident he’s recovered.

“I’ll take a couple of pain-killers tonight and I should be okay in the morning but then with the anti-doping and all that, I can’t really take too much.”

However, McIlroy is not nearly as ill as fellow Irishman Shane Lowry, who was readmitted to a Dubai hospital yesterday as he strives to overcome a mystery virus. Lowry had to withdraw from the event after first being hospitalised on Tuesday.

It is uncertainwhen Lowry will be able to return home or if he will be able to compete in two events in South Africa next month.

Pádraig Harrington posted a 71 to move to six under par while fellow Dubliner Peter Lawrie (72) is two shots further back on four under par.

However further down the board and in 50th position on one over is Graeme McDowell, who struggled to a 73.

It is the 12th occasion in 14 rounds of the Earth course that McDowell has failed to break par.

“Do me a favour and pull up my putting stats here for the last four years because I just cannot putt these greens,” he said.

“I just feel the whole field is on a different golf course and I’m looking at the leaderboards and there five, six and seven under par scores but I just can’t shoot those numbers.”

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