Jamieson stays steady in desert winds as stars lie in wait at Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship

Scott Jamieson maintained his one-shot lead at the halfway stage of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, where Ryder Cup stars Viktor Hovland, Ian Poulter, Shane Lowry and Thomas Pieters were among the many players in close pursuit after a blustery second round of the DP World Tour season’s opening Rolex Series event.

The strong winds played havoc at Yas Links but Jamieson remained steady and composed as he battled to a two over par 74 to enter the weekend on a seven under leading total.

“Starting on the back nine, I knew the first four or five holes were going to be okay, downwind, and then I knew we were going to be in for a tough stretch from the 15th to the seventh, six being the last of the tough stretch,” said Jamieson.

“The first was the only hole that I really kind of chucked a couple away, but it’s so easily done. So you’ve got to just get on with it.”

On a day which yielded only nine sub-par rounds, Poulter’s level 72 was all the more impressive and the Englishman sat in a share of second place on six under, alongside his recent Ryder Cup team-mate Hovland who signed for a 74.

James Morrison, meanwhile, was level par through 14 holes and on a six under total before play was suspended overnight due to darkness. Former Open Champion Lowry was joined by Pieters, Japan’s Takumi Kanaya and Swede Alexander Björk on five under par, two shots off the lead.

Defending Champion Tyrrell Hatton’s five over 77 left him six shots back on a one under total, while four-time Major champion Rory McIlroy had to hole a nerve-jangling birdie putt on the final hole to leave himself in a good position to make the weekend. He sits right on the cut line on three over, with round two to be completed on Saturday morning.

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