McIlroy moves into contention in Abu Dhabi

McIlroy moves into contention in Abu Dhabi

"Got inside Tommy and Dustin", McIlroy said about the remarkable shot from Murphy, who now lives in Abu Dhabi with his parents and plays the course on which Fleetwood carded a 6-under 66 to share the lead on day one.

He signed for a second-round 65 to lead Jorge Campillo (64) by one.

The 26-year-old Fleetwood, who started his 2017 winning this tournament by a shot over Johnson, then went on to secure the European Tour's Race to Dubai title at the end of the year.

"It would have been nice to go bogey-free again, but it was kind of coming and I hit a bad tee shot". Asked if he expected to start his first event of 2018 so well, Pieters said: "Not really!"

"I felt like this golf course suits me pretty well and I like the setup of it". The greens are ideal, the weather's flawless. "So now I am going to eat, practise, and make sure I don't hook and slice anymore, and I'll be ready for tomorrow".

Fleetwood celebrated his 27th birthday with a battling four-under 68 in the second round which leaves him just two strokes adrift of leader Thomas Pieters heading into the weekend.

"The first two days I've been really, really happy with, and I played really solid". My iron play has been poor relative to the standards that I have. It was a good day. I've been working hard on the game, but the golf swing feels like it's finally getting back to where it was.

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With a turbo-4 and a 10-speed, you can bet that fuel economy will also be at or near the top of the class. He later added that the midsize truck will come with a steel frame, as "real trucks don't have fascias".

"You can't win the tournament after two days, you can only play yourself out of it".

The 25-year-old Belgian, who was a star for the European Ryder Cup team in their loss to the USA at Hazeltine, made seven birdies in his bogey-free round of 65 to climb on top of the leaderboard at 12 under par. "I wasn't expecting to see him on the tee there - I was a little bit surprised to see him inside the ropes but he hit a great shot". I didn't put myself under any stress at all. I'm not a morning person, but the golf course was flawless this morning: just a little softer, greens less fierce. I don't know if it had to do with a little jet-lag or what.

"It's not like we are dominating golf courses", Johnson told BBC Sport on Wednesday. I know where I can capitalise with the strengths of my game.

"I think I'm going to struggle to find a better three ball", he said after the round.

He won't get any argument from the Big Three. "So I would love to equal that record this week".

Rory McIlroy's statement of intent, as delivered in his 36th hole of the Abu Dhabi Championship, was worth the wait.

Murphy certainly got a star studded group to try to beat, joining the group of Dustin Johnson, Tommy Fleetwood, and his favorite player, Rory McIlroy.

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