Shubhankar and Gaganjeet shoulder Indian hopes as Bryson DeChambeau takes charge in Dubai

Shubhankar Sharma (69) and Gaganjeet Bhullar (70) made five birdies each in the second round. Bryson DeChambeau and Lucas Herbert lead the Dubai Desert Classic at 12-under

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Bryson DeChambeau shot a second straight 66 in the Dubai Desert Classic

Anand Datla

26 January 2019: Bryson DeChambeau, the highest ranked player in the field this week, underlined his credentials with a second straight 66 at the Emirates Golf Club. The American, searching for his first professional victory overseas, was in a tie for the lead with Lucas Herbert, who rode a 63 to the top of the leaderboard. Shubhankar Sharma gained 13 spots with a determined 69 in the second round, with Gaganjeet Bhullar trailing him right behind at 3-under.

Sharma was impressive, especially on the back nine – scoring birdies at 10, 12, 16 & 18. He made five birdies in all in his three-under round of 69. He also made another birdie at the first hole but conceded bogeys at the 6th and 11th holes.

Bhullar scored birdies at the 2nd and 3rd holes during an even stretch from the first through the ninth, which also contained bogeys at the first the ninth holes. He went on to add birdies at the 10th, 11th and 17th as he signed on a card of 70.

DeChambeau was T18 on a previous visit to the Omega Dubai Desert Classic, when he arrived in the Emirates as an amateur in 2016. He went home with the best amateur medal on that occasion and is eager to translate that to a first European Tour title this week.

“I thought after yesterday – getting it around not making a bogey was awesome – but today was even more impressive with three bogeys on the card, still shooting six-under. I was happy about that. Unfortunately, again, I just didn’t have the right sensations and proprioception over shots. I just felt uncomfortable, unfortunately, on a lot of them, and consequently my ball-striking is just not my best. But I’m not complaining one bit. There’s no complaining here for sure, so I’m happy,” said DeChambeau.

“I’m pleased that I’m playing golf. I’m getting it in the hole and executing the right shots when I need to and making a lot of key putts. That was one of the things I talked about this week, was reading the green right, and we’ve done a pretty darned good job so far. Hopefully we can keep it up.”

Herbert, an Aussie, equalled his career-best effort – recorded earlier at the Portugal Masters and the Sicilian Open last season – with an eagle and seven birdies. The duo, at 12-under, enjoy a one-stroke advantage over Alvaro Quiros and Ernie Els, who rolled the clock back with a brilliant 65 on Friday.

“I like this place, as you know. I’ve had some really great times here. I’m swinging well, my body feels well. Just going on the memory bank, I guess. Playing with Colin and José was also fun. We’ve done a lot in the game, and we had a good couple of chats, and I found my form. You’ve got to love it,” said a beaming Els.

“It’s obviously a little different to when I won here, the golf course. They’ve really grown the rough. I see the scoring is really good. I see scoring slowing down a little bit over the weekend in the afternoons. The greens were getting a little firmer, faster, but if you get it in the fairway, you give yourself second-shot opportunities, and the putter has been working for me, so it’s been fun.”

Matt Wallace gatecrashed the weekend party with a 64, moving to a 36-hole score of 10-under 134. Jason Scrivener, Haotong Li, Callum Shinkwin and Matthieu Pavon are all in the same boat as Wallace.

Round Two Scores

132 B DeChambeau (USA) 66 66, L Herbert (Aus) 69 63,
133 A Quiros (Esp) 69 64, E Els (RSA) 68 65,
134 M Wallace (Eng) 70 64, M Pavon (Fra) 66 68, C Shinkwin (Eng) 66 68, H Li (Chn) 67 67, J Scrivener (Aus) 67 67,
135 M Fitzpatrick (Eng) 65 70, G Coetzee (RSA) 70 65, K Koivu (Fin) 67 68, F Zanotti (Par) 69 66,
136 S Hend (Aus) 66 70, B Dredge (Wal) 68 68, T Detry (Bel) 68 68, J Campillo (Esp) 69 67, T Olesen (Den) 69 67, S Garcia (Esp) 66 70, S Lowry (Irl) 69 67, R Langasque (Fra) 66 70, J Smith (Eng) 68 68, A Arnaus (Esp) 68 68, W Ormsby (Aus) 67 69, K Samooja (Fin) 66 70,
137 T Jaidee (Tha) 66 71, P Waring (Eng) 67 70, L Westwood (Eng) 67 70,
138 M Kaymer (Ger) 71 67, A Rai (Eng) 70 68, A Björk (Swe) 68 70, J Harding (RSA) 70 68, I Poulter (Eng) 67 71, P Larrazabal (Esp) 72 66, R Fisher (Eng) 69 69, T Fleetwood (Eng) 68 70, B An (Kor) 70 68, M Korhonen (Fin) 71 67, R Wattel (Fra) 68 70,
139 N Bertasio (Ita) 68 71, T Hatton (Eng) 69 70, A Wu (Chn) 71 68, E Pepperell (Eng) 72 67, J Hansen (Den) 73 66, T Aiken (RSA) 71 68, D Burmester (RSA) 70 69,
140 T Lewis (Eng) 68 72, K Kitayama (USA) 71 69, T Bjørn (Den) 72 68, J Dantorp (Swe) 70 70, V Perez (Fra) 70 70, L Bjerregaard (Den) 72 68, R Karlsson (Swe) 75 65, S Gallacher (Sco) 68 72, S Sharma (Ind) 71 69,
141 S Brazel (Aus) 71 70, A Johnston (Eng) 72 69, M Schwab (Aut) 69 72, H Porteous (RSA) 69 72, H Tanihara (Jpn) 67 74, N Colsaerts (Bel) 74 67, M Southgate (Eng) 71 70, R Jacquelin (Fra) 69 72, V Dubuisson (Fra) 71 70, R Ramsay (Sco) 69 72, C Bezuidenhout (RSA) 67 74, T Pieters (Bel) 72 69, M Warren (Sco) 70 71, S Norris (RSA) 72 69, C Paisley (Eng) 73 68, A Chesters (Eng) 72 69, G Bhullar (Ind) 71 70, T Pulkkanen (Fin) 68 73,
142 H Stenson (Swe) 70 72, A Otaegui (Esp) 72 70, J Van Zyl (RSA) 73 69, S Crocker (USA) 72 70, R Rock (Eng) 74 68, M Lorenzo-Vera (Fra) 73 69, D Horsey (Eng) 71 71, K Broberg (Swe) 70 72, J Luiten (Ned) 70 72, M Kieffer (Ger) 74 68,
143 D Drysdale (Sco) 73 70, B Hebert (Fra) 72 71, R Cabrera Bello (Esp) 75 68, D Fichardt (RSA) 73 70, R Fox (Nzl) 70 73, R Paratore (Ita) 71 72, A Marjan (Mar) 74 69, B Wiesberger (Aut) 74 69, J Kruyswijk (RSA) 74 69, R Thomas (am) (Ind) 74 69,
144 S Soderberg (Swe) 69 75, S Jamieson (Sco) 70 74, P Khongwatmai (Tha) 70 74, S Kjeldsen (Den) 71 73, N Elvira (Esp) 72 72,