Rory McIlroy and Jordan Spieth struggle on day two in Abu Dhabi
By Ali Stafford
Last Updated: 23/01/16 9:44am
Rory McIlroy failed to make the most of a promising start to the Abu Dhabi Golf Championship, where world No 1 Jordan Spieth also struggled during the second round.
McIlroy impressed in his first event since November's DP World Tour Championship victory with an opening six-under 66, but was unable to replicate that form on Friday and was one over 13 holes when play was suspended for bad light.
After thick fog delayed by two hours and 45 minutes, McIlroy failed to register a single birdie as part of the marquee group alongside Spieth and Rickie Fowler, to leave the world No 3 five strokes adrift of clubhouse leader Andy Sullivan.
Having started his round with eight straight pars, McIlroy bogeyed the next after finding the rocks and narrowly avoiding the lake off the tee.
Spieth also almost ended up in the hazard when his drive at the fifth appeared water-bound until ricocheting off a spectator, with successive blemishes seeing him reach the turn in 36.
The American recovered to slide in a birdie at the 10th, but will resume seven shots off the pace having suffered the same issues with his driving off the tee that had affected his opening round.
Further up the leaderboard, overnight pacesetter Bryson DeChambeau moved alongside Sullivan, who posted a second successive 67, with two gains in his opening three holes, but dropped a shot on his final hole of the day after a wayward tee shot at the 18th.
"I got off to a good start with a birdie at 10 and then making a nice 15-footer on 12," DeChambeau said. "Then the last was kind of a killer, but it is what it is.
"It's golf and I've just got to learn from it and say, 'hey, got to hit the fairway next time'."
A bogey-free 68 from Joost Luiten lifted the Dutchman into a four-way tie for third alongside Rafa Cabrera-Bello, Thomas Bjorn and Richard Bland, with Matt Fitzpatrick and Ian Poulter joining Fowler and McIlroy as part of the group a further two strokes back.
The second round will resume at 3.40am UK time on Saturday with 60 players left to finish, with the third round getting underway no earlier than 6.45am.
Watch the Abu Dhabi Golf Championship throughout the weekend live on Sky Sports 4 - your home of golf