McIlroy, Bjorn sizzle at the Desert Classic

McIlroy, Bjorn sizzle at the Desert Classic

DUBAI - Reuters
McIlroy, Bjorn sizzle at the Desert Classic

Rory Mcilroy plays a shot during the second round of the Dubai Desert Classic. AFP photo

U.S. Open winner Rory McIlroy and Thomas Bjorn sunk late birdies to set the pace at the Dubai Desert Classic on Feb. 10, with the pair 13-under after the second round.

Behind them lurked Martin Kaymer - who claimed his first ever hole in one - and a resurgent Lee Westwood as golf’s top guns excelled on another windless day on Dubai’s Majlis course.

McIlroy, Westwood and Kaymer are ranked two, three and four in the world, with only number one Luke Donald absent from the Dubai leaderboard. “This was very stress-free golf - fairways most of the time, a lot of greens and giving myself a lot of looks, so I’m really pleased with how I played today,” McIlroy, 22, told reporters.

Yet the Northern Irishman may rue several missed long birdie chances as his putting often failed to match his stellar approach play.

“It could have been better, I missed a putt on the 18th for an eagle, I missed a putt on the first for a birdie that was pretty short,” said McIlroy. “I hit a couple of really good putts on the back nine which could have dropped.”

Kaymer, on 11-under, said he would not be satisfied with a leaderboard finish. “The only thing that matters is the trophy - to leave the golf course knowing that you have beaten everyone,” he said.