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Golf

Els in firm contention for Dubai glory

25th January 2019, 18:13 by Craig Smithson

Ernie Els sits one shot off the leaders at the halfway stage of the Dubai Desert Classic as he chases a first title win since 2013.

The 49-year-old South African, who is currently down in 527th place in the world rankings, fired seven birdies and an eagle in his seven-under-par round of 65 to reach the 36-hole stage at 11-under for the tournament.

The four-time major winner, whose last European Tour win was in the BMW International Open almost six years ago, said: "I'm swinging well, my body feels well. Just, you know, going on the memory bank, I guess.

"I've had a good time. I've been a professional for a very long time and I've got one more year before I'm 50. I'm only 50 in October so I'll try and have a good year this year and just try and enjoy it.

"I think it might play a little tougher over the weekend and in the afternoons if the wind comes. But I think still just keep the foot on the pedal, try and make some birdies. There's still a lot of work to be done."

Els sits alongside 2011 winner Alvaro Quiros on 11-under with the duo one shot behind leading pair Bryson DeChambeau and Lucas Herbert.

Herbert equalled his career-best round of 63 on Friday at the Emirates Golf Club as the 41-year-old Australian hit seven birdies and an eagle at the 10th in a bogey-free round.

American world number five, DeChambeau, mixed seven birdies and an eagle with three bogeys in his second successive round of 66.

England's Matt Wallace is two shots off the lead on 10-under after an impressive eight-under par round and he is joined by fellow compatriot Callum Shinwin, defending champion Haotong Li and France's Matthieu Pavon.

This article originated on sportinastorm.com

Craig Smithson is a journalist with over two decades of experience at the keyboard. A life-long Middlesbrough fan, Craig has an in-depth knowledge of all football and is also a keen fan of boxing amongst other sports.

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