Andy Sullivan holds the lead heading into the weekend at the 2016 Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship after shooting five under during a weather-interrupted session on Friday that was delayed due to fog.
Thursday leader Bryson DeChambeau is one shot behind the Englishman, but he has played only nine holes of the second round. The American is one of many players not to finish their round, per the European Tour:
Rafa Cabrera-Bello shot up the leaderboard with an impressive round of five under, while Joost Luiten made strong gains with a round of four under.
Here is the top of the leaderboard after Day 2:
|#||Player||Score||Hole||Day 2 Score|
|T9||Trevor Fisher Jr||-5||18||70|
The full leaderboard can be accessed at the European Tour's official website.
Sullivan was out earlier than his rivals, but he wasted no time in piling on the pressure. Starting at the 10th, he kicked off his round with three consecutive birdies, including this outstanding effort at the first to pick up a shot after landing in the bunker, per the European Tour:
Fairway bunkers don't scare Andy Sullivan. https://t.co/2mBvNobMQX— The European Tour (@EuropeanTour) January 22, 2016
Bogeys at the 15th and fifth as well as a birdie at the first left the Englishman on just two under with three holes to play, but he finished with the same style he started with to move into the lead:
Sullivan will be among the players hoping to impress Ryder Cup captain Darren Clarke, and the pair enjoyed each other's company as they made their way around the course:
Sullivan on Ryder Cup: "Darren knows what I'm capable of. He's been giving me jip on the way around today. The banter's been really good."— The European Tour (@EuropeanTour) January 22, 2016
DeChambeau made a similarly promising start, narrowing the two-shot deficit to one on the first hole:
On the third, the amateur birdied again to pull level:
It took Bryson DeChambeau just three holes to tie the lead again. https://t.co/DT7AvfNzac— The European Tour (@EuropeanTour) January 22, 2016
The 22-year-old was unable to build on his strong start, though, as he made five pars and then a bogey on his ninth and final hole.
Justin Ray of the Golf Channel added an interesting tidbit on what a win for DeChambeau would mean:
Since inception of World Rankings in 1986, no amateur has won any tournament worldwide with the world no 1 in field. DeChambeau is 1 back.— Justin Ray (@JustinRayGC) January 22, 2016
Meanwhile, the likes of Jordan Spieth and Rory McIlroy will be glad the day was cut short as they were enduring rounds to forget.
The world No.1 dropped shots at the fourth and fifth, and he was lucky not to do so at the ninth:
Spieth was able to birdie the 10th, but he will need to seriously improve to climb up the leaderboard with just five holes to play in the second round.
McIlroy fared no better, as he was unable to muster a single birdie in his 13 holes. The European Tour highlighted their struggles:
Rickie Fowler hit three birdies, but McIlroy and Spieth need to regroup if they're to catch Sullivan out in front. The former in particular is far from out of it at five shots behind, but a difficult and intriguing weekend awaits for both of them.