After carding an even par 72 on Friday afternoon at The Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship, 2013 Race To Dubai Champion, Henrik Stenson will not play on the weekend. The hottest golfer on the planet at the end of the 2013 season was not able to overcome the two over par effort he made on Thursday, and misses the cut.
The Worlds number three player arrived in Abu Dhabi with a ton of rust on his golf game. Stenson couldn’t find a fairway off the tee. In two rounds, he was able to hit only 15 of 28 fairways, and 24 Greens in regulation. The cut came at even par, and the 37 year-old Swede is heading home.
Starting his day on the back nine, Spanish star, Raphael Cabrera-Bello had the lead at -10 under par until the ninth hole(his last) where he made bogey, and dropped into a tie for the lead with Craig Lee from Scotland.
“I think Santa has brought me a good putting stroke for Christmas,” Lee said.
“My brother installed an astro-turf putting green in my front garden at the end of last year and that’s made a difference as I’ve been able to keep putting every day. It’s 20 feet by 14 feet and the neighbors have been peering over the fence.”
The pair have a one-shot lead over Brit, Danny Willett, and a two shot lead over a group of three that includes Two-time major champ, Rory McIlroy, and Thomas Bjorn. Ricardo Gonzales from Argentina is the third wheel in this group.
McIlroy overcame a double-bogey six at the par four sixth hole to card a 67 in the second round. The youngster from Northern Ireland is showing a renewed confidence in his driver, and was able to get some putts to fall on Friday.
Playing along with Phil Mickelson, and defending champ, Jamie Donaldson, McIlroy was able to only hit 15 of 28 fairways, but has the strength to play out of the gnarly rough at the Abu Dhabi golf course. Donaldson finished at -1 under par and will get a chance to defend his 2013 title.
McIlroy is playing with the swagger and confidence we saw at the end of the 2012 season where he won the money title on both tours, and the Race To Dubai Championship.
After shooting a birdieless round on Thursday, Phil Mickelson was able to get some putts to drop on Friday. Lefty shot a -2 under par 70, and will play the weekend.
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