Rory McIlroy still expects to win the Omega Dubai Desert Classic for the second time, despite his frustration at failing to build a commanding halfway lead on Friday.
McIlroy looked back to his brilliant best as he posted a sparkling opening 63, the former World Number One carding seven birdies and an eagle at Emirates Golf Club, the scene of his first European Tour title in 2009.
And although he struggled to a more pedestrian 70 on Friday, the 24 year old’s halfway total of 11 under par kept him on top of the leaderboard, one shot ahead of American Brooks Koepka, whose flawless 65 equalled the lowest score of the day.
Asked if he expected to claim his sixth European Tour title on Sunday, McIlroy added: “I do. I am leading the tournament, I’ve been in this position before and went on to win.
“I have led from the front quite well in tournaments that I have won. I feel like I am still playing well, I know the course as well as anyone else and I expect to go out there and shoot two good scores over the weekend and hopefully lift the trophy.”