• Dubai Desert Classic

McIlroy maintains advantage in Dubai

January 31, 2014
McIlroy: World ranking is just an ego boost

Despite a skydiving competitor soaring up the leaderboard, it was Rory McIlroy who had the up-and-down day while keeping a one-stroke lead at the Omega Dubai Desert Classic on Friday.

McIlroy, who began the round with a two-shot lead, bogeyed the first hole before reeling off four birdies to get to 12-under through 10 holes. He bogeyed holes 13 and 16, however, before a birdie at the last for a two-under 70. He is 11-under for the event.

American Brooks Koepka, who had a seven-under 65, is one stroke back of McIlroy.

Tiger Woods, playing with McIlroy, carded two birdies and three bogeys for a 73 on Friday. He is three-under for the tournament.

Earlier on Friday, Danny Willett soared to the top of the leaderboard just four days after a 4,000-metre (13,000-feet) sky dive over Dubai.

Willett birdied five of his closing six holes to shoot a seven-under-par 65 and is tied with Damien McGrane of Ireland at eight-under. Both players are chasing their second European Tour victory.

Willett, along with his wife and caddie, undertook the assisted sky dive on Monday, free-falling for the first 300m (1,000 feet) in aid of two UK charities.

Henrik Stenson also moved into contention for a second Dubai title with a 67 to be four strokes off the lead.

Woods is striving to become only the second three-time Dubai winner beside Ernie Els.

However, there was an early exit for Els, who shot a 70 for a par total and the assurance of missing the eventual halfway cut after a first-round 74.

This article first appeared on ESPN.com

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