sport

Duo fight for Abu Dhabi survival

Tiger Woods joined Rory McIlroy in a fight to survive the halfway cut after a really poor start to his second round in Abu Dhabi.

While Justin Rose set the clubhouse target on eight under par, closing with a superb birdie to add a 69 to his opening 67, the world's top two were not even in the top 60 after the opening two holes of their second rounds.

McIlroy, round in 75 with his new Nike clubs yesterday, parred them both, but Woods had back-to-back bogeys and was only one shot better at two over.

First he went over the green and failed to get up and down on the 405-yard opener - the hole where his drive yesterday went barely 150 yards - and then he was twice in rough and pitched into a bunker at the 600-yard second.

Although the American almost made it from the sand he failed to sink the putt that followed and a six went on his card.

He was in danger of a third bogey in a row after missing the third green as well, but he saved his par from nine feet.

Although Rose did not score as well on his return he felt he played better.

He was two shots in front of Welshman Jamie Donaldson, who resumed with a birdie, and three ahead of South African Garth Mulroy.

"I felt like my game definitely sharpened up," he said. "When you have perfect distance control you know you are swinging it well.

"I thought it was a decent enough score to keep the momentum going. I was pin-high probably eight times, but kept leaving myself awkward distances and had to keep patient."

A six-foot putt at the 475-yard 16th produced his only deviation from par on the back nine and he then converted 15-foot chances on the second and fourth, but in between dropped his only shot after missing the green.

The finish was spectacular, however. An eight-iron approach pulled up and only a foot from the flag and he said: "I can make those!"

Rose had only Open champion Ernie Els as his playing partner, defending champion Robert Rock withdrawing through illness after a 76.

Els double-bogeyed the third and dropped two other shots, but also had three birdies for a 73 and level par aggregate.

Padraig Harrington was on the same mark after a second successive 72, but with a 73 fellow Dubliner Paul McGinley was heading out on five over in his first tournament as Ryder Cup captain.

"I really want to be competitive - I think it's an important part of the job," said the 46-year-old.

As captain he can look forward to invitations to the USPGA Championship this year and next, but added: "I don't want to go there ceremonially."

Things got worse for Woods - and McIlroy.

Both bogeyed the fourth and fifth to be four over and five over. They were 85th

and 94th in a field of only 126 - one of whom was local amateur Sohail Al

Marzuqui, round in a nightmare 90 for 27 over.

That ended with a triple bogey eight where he went over the green close to

where leader Justin Rose and Padraig Harrington were talking to reporters.

McIlroy revived his hopes of being around for the weekend when he pitched to two feet on the long eighth and then chipped in at the ninth - after almost driving the water.

Out in 37, he was back up to four over, two outside the predicted the cut mark

and joint 84th.

Woods was one shot better and 72nd after getting up and down from sand on the eighth and also narrowly escaping a visit to the lake on the next.

McIlroy took an adventurous route, to say the least, on the 10th. After driving

left close to the trees he went across the fairway into a bunker, came out in

the rough and put his next in more sand.

At least he got up and down from there, but it was a bogey six and even after

saving par from 12 feet at the short 12th - he was in yet another bunker - he

was down in 91st place.

Woods two-putted the 10th, but went over the next green and with a bogey was outside the cut line again at 73rd.

Meanwhile, Rose's lead was down to one over Donaldson and Dane Thorbjorn Olesen, both of whom were just starting the back nine.