Published November 23, 2012
| Sports Network
Dubai, United Arab Emirates – World No. 1 Rory McIlroy, second-ranked Luke Donald and Marc Warren moved into a share of the lead at 11-under-par 133 on Friday after two rounds of the season-ending DP World Tour Championship, Dubai.
McIlroy, who shot a 67, has already locked up the season-long Race to Dubai, joining Donald as the only players to win the PGA Tour and European Tour money lists in the same season.
The world No. 2 Donald accomplished that feat just a year ago, clinching the Race to Dubai at this event with a third-place finish. He entered Friday with a 1-stroke lead before carding a 68 to drop into a tie.
Warren, meanwhile, is looking for his first European Tour win since capturing the Championship at Gleneagles in 2007. He fired a 67 at the Greg Norman designed Earth Course at Jumeirah Golf Estates.
"I'm driving the ball really, really well," McIlroy told the Golf Channel after his round. "If I can take advantage of that there might be something in the low-60s out there for me."
Up-and-comer Branden Grace shot a 65 to jump into a tie for fourth place with Louis Oosthuizen (67) at 10-under. Sixth place is shared by 2011 Masters champion Charl Schwartzel (67) and Richie Ramsay (68) at minus-9, while 10 players, including Ryder Cup surprise Nicolas Colsaerts, are at 8-under.
Like McIlroy, Grace has already turned in a stellar performance this year. After coming through 2011 Qualifying School, the South African has reeled off four European Tour victories, with the most recent coming in wire-to-wire fashion at Alfred Dunhill Links Championship in early October.
The 24-year-old Grace is the first player in European Tour history to win his first four events in the same season.
The top 60 players in the Race to Dubai qualified for this event, with the winner set to garner $1.33 million of the $8 million purse -- up $500,000 from a year ago.
McIlroy missed the cut at last week's Hong Kong Open, but he has been solid through two rounds in Dubai despite feeling under the weather.
"I got off the golf course last night and had a really sore head and a bit of a fever," McIlroy explained during his post-round television interview. "I think it was just a bit of sun stroke. I felt a bit better this morning but I'm not feeling great again. Just the sun is taking it out of me a little bit."
After playing bogey free on Thursday, the Northern Irishman tallied six birdies against a single bogey during his second round. He recorded back-to- back birdies starting at No. 14 and nearly picked up another shot with a chip from the fringe on the last. When the attempt narrowly missed, McIlroy settled for par and a share of the second-round lead.
Donald, on the other hand, lost his slight edge in the early going with a stretch of seven consecutive pars after a birdie on No. 1. He lagged closely behind before pulling even with McIlroy and Warren courtesy of a birdie on the par-5 18th.
NOTES: Warren is seeking his third career win on the European Tour, with the other coming at the Scandinavian Masters in 2006 ... Last year, Alvaro Quiros won for the second time in 2011 and sixth overall. He is not in the field this time around.