Irish Open champion Shane Lowry carded a bogey-free seven-under-par second round 65 to join Sergio Garcia and Peter Hanson in a share of a one-stroke lead at the Abu Dhabi Golf Championship today.
World number 13 Garcia dropped one shot in a 67, while Sweden's Hanson moved onto 11-under-par overall with a flawless five-under-par second round over The National Course at Abu Dhabi Golf Club.
Former champion and last year's runner-up Martin Kaymer carded a second consecutive 67 to join Challenge Tour graduate Rhys Davies, who produced a bogey-free 68, at 10-under-par.
Lowry missed back-to-back birdie putts of within five feet at the start of his second round, but responded with two consecutive birdies before reaching the turn in three-under 33.
The 22-year-old, who turned professional after triumphing at Baltray last May as an amateur, added another brace of birdies at the start of his second nine before capping a another back-to-back double with the final birdie of his day with a 50-foot putt at the par three seventh after beginning on the back nine.
"I came into this week without too many expectations at the start of the week after a long winter break, but I managed to find some confidence and I have played nicely over the last couple of days and managed to hole some putts," said Lowry.
"It is a little bit of a surprise to make such a good start, but I have just tried to play as good as I can and I haven't made too many mistakes and I've only made one bogey in two rounds."
Garcia is still struggling with the hand injury he suffered in Dubai at the end of last season and despite the strain limiting his practice this week, the Spaniard picked up five shots in seven holes round the turn.
He said: "After the break the practice at home wasn't the best, the weather wasn't helping and I wasn't helping. But it is nice to see that I am getting round.
"I am not feeling in total control of my ball flight, but I know how I am hitting it and overall, it has been two positive days."
Irish golfer Rory McIlroy (69) and joint overnight leader Ian Poulter (70) share sixth place a further shot adrift alongside Challenge Tour number one Edoardo Molinari (66), Australia's Richard Green (65) and Argentina's Ariel Canete (65).