LONDON: Dustin Johnson may have made a big statement of intent with a stunning 61 yesterday. But there is no end of talent ready to pounce should the big-hitting American slip up today. Here is what a few of the chasing pack had to say after their second rounds.
HAOTONG LI — eight-under
The Chinese star is three shots back of the leader and having won in Dubai last year knows what it take to get a victory in the Middle East. He is confident he can make a move for the inaugural title over the weekend.
“I played quite solid over there, and disappointed in No. 4, which is a birdie hole become a bogey, which is a two-shot there. But I think everything I did very well,” the world No. 44 said. “I enjoy this place and love the course, and everything has been going well. Hopefully I can continue this feeling for the weekend.”
ALEXANDER LEVY — six-under
The Frenchman made a move up the leaderboard with a five-under 65 to put him in the top 10. The world No. 100 only had one top 10 in the second half off last year and has his fingers crossed that he can get back to challenging for titles over the next two days.
“It’s good. It’s nice to get in this position, but yeah, I will keep what I’m doing today because it was really good. And we’ll see what happens. It’s nice to be back in business,” Levy said.
BROOKS KOEPKA — one-under
The world No. 2 shot a level-par 70 to just make the cut. He has given himself a lot to do if he is to catch Dustin Johnson, but if the conditions are calm then he certainly has the game to go low.
“I think (I have a chance to post a low score on Saturday). The wind doesn’t pick up really until a little after noon, so in the morning you definitely have a good opportunity to shoot a low number. I’ve just got to figure out these greens,” he said.
ZANDER LOMBARD — eight-under
The South African added a three-under 67 to go alongside his first round 65 to lie just three back of Johnson. He came third in the Alfred Dunhill Championship in December and is hoping he can maintain his challenge for the title.
“(I am looking forward to the weekend), let’s see if we can get it low on the weekend and give the guys a go,” Lombard said. “I am going to stick to doing my processes, sticking to a consistent method. It’s what I’ve been doing well lately. It’s nice to see some results from all the hard work from last year showing off.”