Rose leads as Woods and McIlroy falter

World Number Five Justin Rose holds a one shot lead over Jamie Donaldson, Gonzalo Fernandez-Castaño and Thorbjørn Olesen at the midway stage of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship.

While the World Numbers One and Two Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods "“ who incurred a two-shot penalty for a rules infringement on the fifth hole "“ are heading home after missing the cut, Englishman Rose continued to enjoy himself at Abu Dhabi Golf Club.

The 32 year old, who is currently in fifth place in the World Ranking, added a round of 69 to his opening 67 to climb to eight under par.

Rose said: "Conditions this morning were absolutely perfect for low scoring. And that approach on my last hole was the perfect way to finish. I guess any time you break 70, you always feel a bit better about things.

"That shot on the last did epitomise my iron play a little bit. I felt like I hit the ball pin high an awful lot today, and I guess that shows that you are swinging the club well, so I felt very good about my game today, and I'm excited about the weekend."

A birdie putt from six feet on the 16th hole led to his solitary gain on the back nine "“ Rose's front nine "“ before he holed longer putts on the second and fourth holes, with his only blemish of the day sandwiched in between.

But the finish was spectacular, as Rose hit an eight iron to less than a foot for a tap-in birdie.

Rose will be joined in the final group on Saturday by Fernandez-Castaño, whose round of 67 was the lowest of the day.

Like the Spaniard, Donaldson and Olesen are also one stroke off the pace after posting respective rounds of 70 and 69.

In contrast, however, McIlroy and Woods will not be around for the weekend, as the Northern Irishman laboured to a round of 75 for the second day in succession, while Woods signed for the same score and a three over par aggregate total.

The World Number Two had appeared on course to make the cut, only to be penalised two strokes for a rules infringement on the fifth hole, where he took a drop for an embedded ball.

Woods was not entitled to a free drop as his ball was embedded in sand, and the subsequent two-stroke penalty for contravening Rule 25/2 moved him the wrong side of the cut line.

He said: "It's tough to take, because I didn't get off to a very good start today but then fought back well. I felt that if I'd got close to level par I had a chance going into the weekend, but obviously the penalty killed any chance I had."

The leading Australasian is Michael Campbell who continues to improve. Campbell has now made six of his last seven cuts, a huge improvement on his form over the previous three years. Campbell is in 7th position, four shots behind the leader.

Andrew Dodt leads the Australians in 36th position while Marcus Fraser and Richard Green only just made the cut.

Scores after round 2:

136 J Rose (Eng) 67 69,

137 T Olesen (Den) 68 69, G Fdez-Castaño (Esp) 70 67, J Donaldson (Wal) 67 70,

139 J Luiten (Ned) 70 69, G Mulroy (RSA) 71 68,

140 G Coetzee (RSA) 69 71, M Campbell (Nzl) 69 71, H Stenson (Swe) 69 71, M Kaymer (Ger) 71 69, B Grace (RSA) 71 69, J Dufner (USA) 71 69, D Howell (Eng) 69 71, M Manassero (Ita) 72 68,

141 L Wen-Chong (Chn) 69 72, K Horne (RSA) 72 69, J Kruger (RSA) 72 69, R Jacquelin (Fra) 72 69, T Jaidee (Tha) 70 71, R Ramsay (Sco) 73 68, S Kjeldsen (Den) 70 71, D Willett (Eng) 70 71, J Sjöholm (Swe) 71 70,

142 A Hansen (Den) 71 71, L Gagli (Ita) 74 68, P Larrazábal (Esp) 68 74, G Maybin (Nir) 71 71, J Campillo (Esp) 74 68, R Wattel (Fra) 73 69, C Lee (Sco) 72 70, A Cañizares (Esp) 73 69, D Fichardt (RSA) 72 70,

143 R Santos (Por) 71 72, R Coles (Eng) 73 70, P Whiteford (Sco) 73 70,

144 J Edfors (Swe) 71 73, P Harrington (Irl) 72 72, E Els (RSA) 71 73, A Dodt (Aus) 74 70, P Casey (Eng) 71 73, M Foster (Eng) 72 72, M Siem (Ger) 72 72, A Sullivan (Eng) 71 73, R Gonzalez (Arg) 72 72, O Fisher (Eng) 73 71, C Wood (Eng) 73 71, P Lawrie (Irl) 72 72, T Hamilton (USA) 75 69,

145 P Meesawat (Tha) 76 69, P Hanson (Swe) 73 72, P Lawrie (Sco) 74 71, S Dyson (Eng) 75 70, R Bland (Eng) 72 73, M Hoey (Nir) 72 73, G Storm (Eng) 72 73, G Bourdy (Fra) 72 73, I Garrido (Esp) 75 70, B Wiesberger (Aut) 74 71, S Webster (Eng) 73 72,

146 P Price (Wal) 72 74, F Zanotti (Par) 76 70, M Fraser (Aus) 75 71, T Lewis (Eng) 74 72, S Chowrasia (Ind) 73 73, R Cabrera-Bello (Esp) 74 72, D Horsey (Eng) 74 72, A Hartø (Den) 74 72, T Björn (Den) 72 74, R Green (Aus) 71 75, A Noren (Swe) 76 70,

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