Jimenez Moves Past Els in Dubai

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DUBAI, United Arab Emirates -- Miguel Angel Jimenez fired a 7-under 65 Friday to take the lead after two rounds of the Dubai Desert Classic. Jimenez stands at 12-under-par 132.
 
First-round leader Ernie Els posted a 4-under 68 and stands alone in second place at minus-10. Stephen Dodd is one stroke further back at 9-under-par 135 after a second-round 65.
 
James Kingston shares fourth place at minus-7 with a pair of European Ryder Cup stars, Colin Montgomerie and Thomas Bjorn.
 
Jimenez, a four-time winner last year on the European Tour, began his day one stroke behind Els, but teed off two groups in front of the world's No. 3 player. Jimenez tied Els in the lead when he dropped in a 10-foot birdie putt at the par-3 11th, his second.
 
The Spaniard quickly put distance between himself and Els. Jimenez made it two straight as he birdied the 12th from 6 feet out and moved to minus-8 with a birdie at the 13th.
 
Jimenez continued his run when he sank a birdie putt from just over 30 feet at the par-3 15th. Jimenez made the turn at minus-5 for his opening nine as he birdied the 18th to get to 10 under.
 
The 41-year-old parred the first four holes of his second nine. Jimenez then birdied the par-4 fifth as he dropped a wedge 15 feet from the cup to get to 11 under.
 
Jimenez drained back-to-back birdie tries from the seventh to jump to minus-13. However, he bogeyed the par-4 ninth, his last, after missing the fairway and laying up with his second shot. It was his first bogey of the tournament.
 
'I hit the ball very well all day, but missed the pin at the last by a few inches. That's a very easy chip,' Jimenez said. 'I played very well. This round was very consistent all around.'
 
Els, the 1994 and 2002 champion of this event, also played the back nine of the Majlis Course at Emirates Golf Club first on Friday. He picked up his first birdie at the par-4 13th to get to 7 under.
 
The South African birdied the 18th for the second straight round. Around the turn, Els birdied the second to get to minus-9. He came right back with a birdie at the third before parring his final six holes.
 
'All in all, it's not been a bad start to the tournament, but I feel I could get a bit more out of my game,' said Els. 'I feel I am striking the ball well and putting well and I feel I can do well over the weekend.'
 
David Howell, the 1999 winner here, carded a 1-under 71 on Friday. He was joined in a tie for seventh place by Jarrod Lyle (70), Phillip Archer (66), Niclas Fasth (66), Gregory Havret (68), Peter Fowler (69), Jamie Donaldson (68), Bradley Dredge (68), Toru Taniguchi (68), Paul Sheehan (68) and Lee Westwood (68).
 
The cut fell at even-par 144 with 80 players advancing to the final two rounds. Among those missing out on the weekend was 2004 champion Mark O'Meara. He carded rounds of 73-72 to miss the cut by one stroke.
 
Related Links:
  • Leaderboard - Dubai Desert Classic
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