Halfway leader Antoine Rozner vows to ‘stay aggressive’ at Dubai Championship
Defending champion Antoine Rozner vowed to maintain his aggressive approach after claiming a one-shot lead at the halfway stage of the AVIV Dubai Championship.
Rozner, who has not dropped a shot over the first two days, birdied six of his last eight holes to add a second round of 64 to his opening 65 and reach 15 under par, a shot ahead of JB Hansen and Francesco Laporta.
Finland’s Kalle Samooja is a shot further back, with the English pair of Tommy Fleetwood and Paul Waring three off the lead on 12 under.
Rozner, who shot 25 under on the Fire Course at Jumeirah Golf Estates to win his maiden European Tour title last year, said: “I think I was playing really well, even on the front nine, but a few putts didn’t drop.
“I just kept putting myself in good positions hole after hole and a few putts dropped on the back nine which was great. It was definitely one of my best ball-striking rounds out here.
“My long game was perfect, I was striping it shot after shot. I missed one green on 17 and that was the only hole I put myself in trouble but I got away with it with a good par.
“Stay aggressive is the mindset, you have be aggressive over and over. I did that really well last year, obviously I can use that experience from last year and that’s helping me.
“Last year I was so aggressive over four rounds and I think it’s paying off this week so if I keep doing what I’m doing over the next two days, hopefully there will be a good result in there.”
Fleetwood was one over par after six holes but played the last 12 in seven under to card a second consecutive 66 as he bids to become the fourth member of Europe’s Ryder Cup team – after Matt Fitzpatrick, Rory McIlroy and Viktor Hovland – to win a tournament since the record defeat at Whistling Straits.
“It was a poor start,” Fleetwood said. “I missed a chance on the first and then missed a short putt (on the second). On such a low-scoring course if you have a dry patch it feels so much worse.
“I holed a putt on seven and played really, really well coming in and had plenty of chances. I felt like I did a good job of continuing to play and hitting good golf shots.
“I didn’t get panicked or frustrated that I hadn’t had the start I would like and then it all came together, which doesn’t always happen. But it did and it was another good day.”
LIVE SCORES: Follow all the latest leaderboards in our golf live scores centre.
England’s Charley Hull triumphs in Texas to end six-year wait for LPGA title
The victory was the 26-year-old’s first on the LPGA Tour since prevailing at the CME Group Tour Championship in November 2016.
Ryan Fox remembers Shane Warne after St Andrews success
The New Zealander secured his third DP World Tour title in front of his family with a one-shot victory at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship.
Romain Langasque equals course record to lead Alfred Dunhill Links Championship
The Frenchman recovered from an early bogey with two eagles and eight birdies to reach 11 under par.
Rory McIlroy bemoans ‘ugly year’ and seeks solution to divide in golf world
The arrival of Saudi-backed LIV Golf series has fractured the game in 2022.
On this day in 2014 – Europe retain Ryder Cup with Gleneagles victory
The Gleneagles victory was Europe’s eighth win in 10 matches.
‘Is this where I am going to die?’ Nicolas Colsaerts on kidney disorder battle
The Belgian is the focus of attention this week as he belatedly defends the Cazoo Open de France title he won three years ago.
On this day in 2008: Ryder Cup misery in Louisville for Nick Faldo’s Europe team
Faldo was heavily criticised for his tactics in the closing singles.
Open champion Cameron Smith wins first LIV trophy in just second start
The world number two is the highest-ranked player to join the rebel series.
Robert MacIntyre beats Matt Fitzpatrick in play-off to win Italian Open
MacIntyre birdied the first extra hole at Marco Simone Golf and Country Club, the venue for next year’s Ryder Cup.
Matt Fitzpatrick holds narrow lead ahead of final round at Italian Open
Rory McIlroy and Aaron Rai are one shot off the pace.