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Fri 20 Nov 2009 09:09 PM

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Westwood leads Race to Dubai at end of second day

Westwood finishes 9 under par, two shots ahead of rival, Rory McIlroy.

Lee Westwood shot a second round 69 to lead the Dubai World Championship field at the halfway stage.

Westwood finished 9 under par, two shots ahead of Race to Dubai rival and crowd favourite Rory McIlroy who also shot 69, it was revealed on the event website.

The 36-year-old Westwood, looking relaxed and comfortable again today, said he was enjoying his game.

“I am in as much control of my game as I’ve been for a while,” the Englishman said, according to the Dubai World Championship website.

“I feel very calm and happy with myself, all parts of my game feel solid.  It feels good.  I enjoy times like this.”

Making the day complete, Westwood sunk a 20-foot putt on the 18th, a hole which has caused a stir among the players  in the opening two rounds of the tournament, the website said.

“I think it’s a good hole,” Westwood said.  You’ve got to hit three good shots to get it close.  That’s a good hole to me. It’s just a tough hole all around.

“The tee shot is difficult.  The stream is in play all the way.  The lay up is obviously difficult.  I think that’s probably where most people struggle … you go in with the left, you’re going in with a lot more club.

“It’s just a tough hole all around.  And you know, come Sunday, it’s still the same hole.  Won’t be any harder.  Won’t be any easier.  Will just be the circumstances that will change, obviously, depending on what’s happening.”

First-round leader Robert Allenby, who was one of six men seven-under par at the end of the day, added: “The course is great.  It’s in great condition and it’s a pleasure to be here and a pleasure to play.”

The winners of The Championship will share the US $7.5 million purse; those finishing in the top 15 on The Race to Dubai will split the US $7.5 million bonus pool. Over four days, with no cut, all 60 players will compete for the title in the world’s newest signature sporting event.



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