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Teenager McIlroy leads in the desert

NORTHERN Ireland teenager Rory McIlroy shot a four-under 68 yesterday to return to the top of the leaderboard after the completion of the fog-delayed second round of the Dubai Desert Classic.

The 19-year-old McIlroy totaled 12-under 134 at Emirates Golf Club after more than 5 hours, 50 minutes were lost on the opening two days.

Louis Oosthuizen hit a hole-in-one on the 11th in a round of 65 to be a stroke back and equal second with Henrik Stenson of Sweden (65). The South African, who finished second in Abu Dhabi and Qatar the previous two weeks, won 150,000 dirhams (US$40,870).

In Scottsdale, Arizona, Nick Watney, boosted by two eagles, soared one stroke clear in Friday's second round at the FBR Open while fellow American Phil Mickelson missed the cut.

Five strokes off the pace overnight, Watney fired an eight-under-par 63 for a nine-under 133.

American Charley Hoffman, who briefly got to 10-under before bogeying two of his last three holes, carded a 68 to lie second with compatriot Matt Kuchar (67) and Australian James Nitties (69).

PGA Tour veteran Kenny Perry, who also carded a 63, was a further stroke back at seven-under, level with fellow American Cameron Beckman (67).

World No. 4 Mickelson, champion here in 1996 and 2006, made an early exit in his first event of the year after following his opening 76 with an erratic 73. "It just didn't come together, I didn't play well," triple major winner Mickelson said after finishing at seven-over 149, seven strokes off the cut.


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