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Friday, January 30, 2009

Sweden's Henrik Stenson in front in foggy Dubai

Sweden's Henrik Stenson hit a bogey-free 65 to move 11 under and take the clubhouse lead on a weather-affected second day at the Dubai Desert Classic.

Stenson is one shot ahead of Australian Richard Green, who shot 63, and three clear of Sergio Garcia in third.

Overnight leader Rory McIlroy dropped a shot before having to abandon his second round after just three holes.

Fog delayed the start on Friday, so play will begin at 0335 GMT on Saturday in a bid to make up lost time.

The first day was also affected by fog and Stenson arrived at the course at 6am local time to complete a first-round 68.

But he recovered superbly to take the overnight lead courtesy of an eight-foot birdie putt on his 25th and final hole of the day.

"I was a little bit disappointed with the finish to the first round, I felt like I threw a couple away but I gave hardly anything away in the afternoon," said the 32-year-old.

"I had a good touch around the greens and made some good saves and chip-ins and putts.

"It was a grinding day but when I hit bad shots I recovered well and made some good birdies on the good shots."

Tournament officials will hope for a prompt start on Saturday, which should allow the third round leaders to complete nine holes before returning on Sunday morning ahead of their final rounds.

But should fog again delay the start, officials will have to decide whether to extend the tournament until Monday or opt to cut the $2.5m event to 54 holes, depending on the length of any delay.

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