It took an eagle from the leader at the final hole to dislodge him, but Thriston Lawrence’s eight-under-par 64 on Friday was good enough to have him in a five-way share of second after the second round of the DP World Tour Championship on the Earth Course at Jumeirah Golf Estates in Dubai.
Lawrence, the South African Open champion, opened with an early eagle on the second in ideal scoring conditions, and he made six birdies in a flawless round that was the best of the day in a field of the 50 top players from the DP World Tour.
Dane Nicolai Hojgaard made an eagle on the last as he came home in 30 to move out of a logjam at the top of the leaderboard.
Sharing second with Lawrence were Ryder Cup stars Tommy Fleetwood and Viktor Hovland, as well as Frenchman Antoine Rozner and Swede Jens Dantorp, all two back on nine-under-par through 36 holes.
Lawrence’s eagle came with a rifled approach from nearly 300 yards out on the par-five second. He flew it 296 yards to inside eight feet and made the putt. His score came despite not being able to take advantage of the two par-fives on the homeward nine, and, with pars on those, he might feel as if he was perhaps two shots short of what he might have achieved.
One stroke behind him was the only other South African in the field, Zander Lombard. Lombard’s seven-under-par 65 took him to eight-under at the halfway mark, and a share of seventh with France’s Matthieu Pavon.