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DUBAI, United Arab Emirates – Marc Warren of Scotland did his chances of making a first-ever appearance at the Masters no harm by taking the clubhouse lead in the second round of the Dubai Desert Classic on Friday.
Warren, who finished second in Doha last week and improved his world ranking to 56th, added a fine 7-under-par 65 to his 66 on the opening day to be one stroke ahead of Graeme McDowell (65) and England's Seve Benson (67). They were at 13 under overall.
A win this week should take Warren's ranking well inside the top 50, which would earn him an invite to Augusta National in April.
The Race to Dubai leader, England's Danny Willett, moved up to 11 under with a round of 66, and was later joined by the overnight leader, Austria's Bernd Wiesberger (69).
Denmark's Morten Orum Madsen made the biggest move of the day, a 9-under 63 catapulting him to 10-under 134 for the tournament alongside American Peter Uihlein (69).
Rory McIlroy, who opened with a 66, was playing in the afternoon, as was defending champion Stephen Gallacher, also on the same score.