Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship R2

Europeans dominate on day of desert drama

January 16-19
Abu Dhabi GC, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
$7,000,000
Round 1, Round 3, Round 4


A superb round from Francesco Laporta led the way as European golfers dominated the second day of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship presented by EGA.

Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship R2 - Europeans dominate
Francesco Laporta. (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)

The Italian carded a remarkable round of 63 (-9) including a finish of five consecutive birdies to take a one-shot lead over a chasing pack boasting four other Europeans in the top six places.

Commenting on his clubhouse lead Laporta said: “It was a great day. I played solid all 18 holes. My putting was solid as well as my driver and irons. I gave myself a lot of opportunity for birdies and made them when I had the chance. Every time I had a putt for birdie, I made it.”

Close behind him in joint second, Englishman Matt Fitzpatrick, who finished third in 2017 and is yet to make a bogey after the first two rounds, carded a fine score of 67 (–5) while Spaniard Rafa Cabrera Bello maintained his first round form with a score of 68 (–4).

Reflecting on another excellent round, Fitzpatrick added: “For the first week of the year, to have no bogeys, I couldn’t ask for a better start. I played really disciplined golf and it’s worked out well so far.”

The only non-European in the top six is Chinese star Haotong Li who is making his third consecutive appearance at the tournament. Li who has never made the cut, shot a composed 69 (-3) that included a flurry of birdies on the 15th, 16th, and 18th holes to sit one shot further back and is primed to make a charge heading into moving day at the 2020 Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship presented by EGA.

Fan favourite Lee Westwood continued his fine form to card a bogey-free 68 (-4) that puts himself in a strong position to make a bid to win an astonishing 25th European Tour event this weekend, a record that will leave him just five titles behind fellow Englishman Nick Faldo.

Teen sensation, 15-year old Josh Hill, who generated one of the stories of the week by beating World Number One Brooks Koepka in practice, produced another strong round to finish his tournament on a credible six-over par while Emirati local, Ahmed Skaik continued his development – his highlight coming on the par four 6th where he made a picturesque birdie.

Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship R2 - Europeans dominate
Matthew Fitzpatrick. (Photo by Warren Little/Getty Images)

Reviewing his tournament Hill added: “It’s been a fun week and a brilliant experience. I’ve enjoyed being on the big stage but a little disappointed in my performance, but I’ve learned a lot. I love playing in Abu Dhabi where the course is perfect, the weather is amazing and the people are incredibly welcoming.  I look forward to hopefully coming back many times into the future.”

Discussing his 2020 tournament, Ahmed added: “This has been a hugely enjoyable experience for me. It is very special to play in front of a home crowd and have the support of friends and family. I will remember this week for a long time.”


Tickets for the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship presented by EGA can be purchased here.


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Lifestyle
By GT Editor
Pos.
Player
Nat
To Par
R1
R2
Total
1
Francesco Laporta
ITA
-10
71
63
134
T2
Matthew Fitzpatrick
ENG
-9
68
67
135
T2
Rafael Cabrera Bello
ESP
-9
67
68
135
T4
Haotong Li
CHN
-8
67
69
136
T4
Sergio Garcia
ESP
-8
67
69
136
T4
Renato Paratore
ITA
-8
64
72
136
T7
Kurt Kitayama
USA
-7
67
70
137
T7
Lee Westwood
ENG
-7
69
68
137
T7
Patrick Cantlay
USA
-7
71
66
137
T7
Louis Oosthuizen
RSA
-7
69
68
137
T7
Adria Arnaus
ESP
-7
70
67
137
T12
Thomas Pieters
BEL
-6
68
70
138
T12
David Law
SCO
-6
70
68
138
T12
Joost Luiten
NED
-6
70
68
138
T12
Bernd Wiesberger
AUT
-6
69
69
138
T12
Zander Lombard
RSA
-6
67
71
138
T12
Lucas Herbert
AUS
-6
69
69
138
T18
Sebastian Soederberg
SWE
-5
75
64
139
T18
Scott Hend
AUS
-5
69
70
139
T18
Zach Murray
AUS
-5
67
72
139
T18
Nacho Elvira
ESP
-5
72
67
139
T18
Thomas Detry
BEL
-5
69
70
139
T18
Yuxin Lin
CHN
-5
69
70
139
T24
Victor Perez
FRA
-4
70
70
140
T24
Branden Grace
RSA
-4
68
72
140
T24
Joakim Lagergren
SWE
-4
75
65
140
T24
Matthias Schwab
AUT
-4
74
66
140
T24
Richie Ramsay
SCO
-4
71
69
140
T24
Jack Singh-Brar
ENG
-4
70
70
140
T24
Soren Kjeldsen
DEN
-4
70
70
140
T24
Andy Sullivan
ENG
-4
69
71
140
T24
Jason Scrivener
AUS
-4
66
74
140
T24
Haydn Porteous
RSA
-4
69
71
140
T24
Masahiro Kawamura
JPN
-4
69
71
140
T35
Shaun Norris
RSA
-3
64
77
141
T35
Shubhankar Sharma
IND
-3
71
70
141
T35
Erik Van Rooyen
RSA
-3
73
68
141
T35
Jack Senior
ENG
-3
71
70
141
T35
Edoardo Molinari
ITA
-3
68
73
141
T35
Ross Fisher
ENG
-3
70
71
141
T35
Oliver Fisher
ENG
-3
71
70
141
T35
Brooks Koepka
USA
-3
66
75
141
T35
Tommy Fleetwood
ENG
-3
71
70
141
T35
Martin Kaymer
GER
-3
68
73
141
T35
Nicolas Colsaerts
BEL
-3
69
72
141
T35
Ashley Chesters
ENG
-3
72
69
141
T35
Michael Lorenzo-Vera
FRA
-3
68
73
141
T35
Romain Langasque
FRA
-3
70
71
141
T35
Matthieu Pavon
FRA
-3
71
70
141
T35
David Drysdale
SCO
-3
70
71
141
T51
David Lipsky
USA
-2
73
69
142
T51
Grant Forrest
SCO
-2
74
68
142
T51
David Howell
ENG
-2
70
72
142
T51
Wade Ormsby
AUS
-2
71
71
142
T51
Justin Harding
RSA
-2
69
73
142
T51
Paul Waring
ENG
-2
71
71
142
T51
Sam Horsfield
ENG
-2
73
69
142
T51
Thomas Bjorn
DEN
-2
71
71
142
T51
Sean Crocker
USA
-2
72
70
142
T51
Jordan Smith
ENG
-2
74
68
142
T61
Alexander Bjoerk
SWE
-1
73
70
143
T61
Matt Wallace
ENG
-1
73
70
143
T61
Kiradech Aphibarnrat
THA
-1
70
73
143
T61
Christiaan Bezuidenhout
RSA
-1
71
72
143
T61
Jorge Campillo
ESP
-1
71
72
143
T61
Andrew Johnston
ENG
-1
69
74
143
T61
Jeff Winther
SWE
-1
73
70
143
T61
Justin Walters
RSA
-1
73
70
143
T61
Scott Jamieson
SCO
-1
71
72
143
T61
Gavin Green
MAS
-1
73
70
143
T61
Brandon Stone
RSA
-1
71
72
143
T61
Sebastian Heisele
GER
-1
70
73
143
T61
Victor Dubuisson
FRA
-1
70
73
143
CUT
Alexander Levy
FRA
Par
71
73
144
CUT
Calum Hill
SCO
Par
71
73
144
CUT
Chris Paisley
ENG
Par
73
71
144
CUT
George Coetzee
RSA
Par
72
72
144
CUT
Guido Migliozzi
ITA
Par
71
73
144
CUT
Lorenzo Gagli
ITA
Par
73
71
144
CUT
Mikko Korhonen
FIN
Par
70
74
144
CUT
Richard Bland
ENG
Par
69
75
144
CUT
Richard Sterne
RSA
Par
74
70
144
CUT
Robert Rock
ENG
Par
69
75
144
CUT
Shane Lowry
IRL
Par
70
74
144
CUT
Steven Brown
ENG
Par
73
71
144
CUT
Thongchai Jaidee
THA
Par
70
74
144
CUT
Viktor Hovland
NOR
Par
73
71
144
CUT
Charl Schwartzel
RSA
1
72
73
145
CUT
Raphael Jacquelin
FRA
1
68
77
145
CUT
Roope Kakko
FIN
1
72
73
145
CUT
Ryan Fox
NZL
1
74
71
145
CUT
Adrian Otaegui
ESP
2
73
73
146
CUT
Danny Willett
ENG
2
71
75
146
CUT
Dean Burmester
RSA
2
73
73
146
CUT
Fabrizio Zanotti
PAR
2
75
71
146
CUT
James Morrison
ENG
2
71
75
146
CUT
Julien Guerrier
FRA
2
74
72
146
CUT
Marcus Armitage
ENG
2
77
69
146
CUT
Matthew Southgate
ENG
2
70
76
146
CUT
Richard McEvoy
ENG
2
71
75
146
CUT
Stephen Gallacher
SCO
2
74
72
146
CUT
Tapio Pulkkanen
FIN
2
72
74
146
CUT
Thomas Aiken
RSA
2
76
70
146
CUT
Tom Lewis
ENG
2
75
71
146
CUT
Adrian Meronk
POL
3
74
73
147
CUT
Eddie Pepperell
ENG
3
73
74
147
CUT
Ian Poulter
ENG
3
73
74
147
CUT
Jamie Donaldson
WAL
3
75
72
147
CUT
Jeung-Hun Wang
KOR
3
71
76
147
CUT
Nino Bertasio
ITA
3
74
73
147
CUT
Andrea Pavan
ITA
4
74
74
148
CUT
Pablo Larrazabal
ESP
4
74
74
148
CUT
Padraig Harrington
IRL
4
76
72
148
CUT
Bryson DeChambeau
USA
5
72
77
149
CUT
Rasmus Hoejgaard
DEN
5
77
72
149
CUT
Robert Karlsson
SWE
5
77
72
149
CUT
Alvaro Quiros
ESP
6
77
73
150
CUT
Benjamin Hebert
FRA
6
77
73
150
CUT
Callum Shinkwin
ENG
6
74
76
150
CUT
Joshua Hill
ENG
6
74
76
150
CUT
Maximilian Kieffer
GER
6
76
74
150
CUT
Ashun Wu
CHI
7
77
74
151
CUT
David Horsey
ENG
7
75
76
151
CUT
Aaron Rai
ENG
8
78
74
152
CUT
Paul Lawrie
SCO
8
78
74
152
CUT
Gaganjeet Bhullar
IND
9
79
74
153
CUT
Joachim B. Hansen
DEN
9
80
73
153
CUT
Kalle Samooja
FIN
9
72
81
153
CUT
Graeme Storm
ENG
10
76
78
154
CUT
Oliver Wilson
ENG
13
76
81
157
CUT
Chris Wood
ENG
15
84
75
159
CUT
Ahmed Skaik
UAE
25
84
85
169