Eddie Pepperell leads with Bryson DeChambeau in Dubai contention
By Ali Stafford
Last Updated: 24/01/20 3:06pm
Eddie Pepperell holds a one-shot lead at the halfway stage of the Omega Dubai Desert Classic, with Bryson DeChambeau part of the chasing pack.
Pepperell followed an opening-round 69 with a five-under 67 to get to eight under at Emirates Golf Club, where lighter winds made for lower scoring than the previous day.
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The Englishman holds a narrow advantage over defending champion DeChambeau, who matched Pepperell's total, with Ryder Cup vice-captain Robert Karlsson and South Africa's Dean Burmester also in a share of second.
"It was a great start to the day, I thought I could maybe birdie them all but that was too high of a goal, obviously," DeChambeau said. "It was fun to be able to play well and get in the clubhouse right next to the lead."
Starting on the back nine, Pepperell got off to a fast start with two birdies in his first four holes and cancelled out a blemish at the 15th with back-to-back gains over his next two holes.
Pepperell briefly moved two ahead by following successive birdies from the first by picking up a shot at the fourth, only to drop a shot at the sixth and close out his round with three straight pars.
DeChambeau raced up the leaderboard after opening with three straight birdies and recovered from a blemish at the sixth to take advantage of the par-five 10th and holed from close range at the 13th.
The American rolled in a 10-footer at the 14th but failed to get up and down from off the green at the par-five next, before making a two-putt birdie at the driveable 17th to get within one of the lead.
Burmester, who was involved in car crash on Wednesday, also got to seven under after mixing five birdies with a sole bogey, with Karlsson alongside him after finishing his 68 with back-to-back gains.
Romain Langasque heads into the weekend tied-fifth with China's Ashun Wu, while Tommy Fleetwood moved within four of the lead after firing a round-of-the-day 65 to get to four under.
Champion Golfer Shane Lowry is five off the pace and 2017 winner Sergio Garcia is in the group on one under, as last week's Abu Dhabi HSBC Champion Lee Westwood posted a birdie-birdie finish to sneak into the weekend on the cut mark of two over.
Watch the Omega Dubai Desert Classic throughout the weekend live on Sky Sports. Live coverage continues on Saturday from 8.30am on Sky Sports Golf.