Rolex Series

Hero Dubai Desert Classic - Day three digest

Everything you need to know from Saturday's action at Emirates Golf Club.

Michael Thorbjornsen

Another amateur announced himself on the world stage, while we were treated to some brilliant birdie bursts as the second round reached its conclusion on day three of the 2023 Hero Dubai Desert Classic.

Here is everything you need to know from Saturday's action at Emirates Golf Club.

Amateurs make big impression

An amateur shared the lead after the first round in Dubai and another is tied at the top at the halfway stage. Having seen Ludvig Aberg hit the front in round one, Michael Thorbjornsen made his way to the summit on Saturday courtesy of a second-round 64 which contained an eagle, seven birdies and one bogey. American Thorbjornsen is second in the World Amateur Golf Rankings, behind only Swede Aberg, and he thinks they are pushing each other to be better. Thorbjornsen said: "I mean, always you want to beat your fellow ams! But I definitely feel like Ludvig and I push each other. In college we played a lot of golf recently together over the past year, and I'm happy to see he's doing well and I hope he's happy to see I'm doing well and we're pushing each other."

Beef is back

Popular Englishman Andrew 'Beef' Johnston made his return to the DP World Tour for the first time since November 2021 this week, and he is safely through to the final 36 holes. Johnston, who had been sidelined by injury, posted opening rounds of 72 and 68 to get to four under par at the halfway stage.

Jiménez's lightning-quick start

Miguel Ángel Jiménez rolled back the years as he opened his second round with four successive birdies, draining some absolutely enormous putts along the way. The 59-year-old Spaniard kicked things off with a 70-foot putt from the back of the first green and treated the crowds to his trademark celebration. He followed that up by holing from 33 feet at the second before taking advantage of the long third from close range. Jiménez made it four in a row from around five feet at the par-three fourth to catapult him well above the cut line. He went on to sign for a 69 to make the cut on two under par.

Pieters' brilliant back nine

Thomas Pieters had started the day on five under but carded three bogeys and just the one birdie on the front nine to appear in danger of missing the cut for the second week in succession. But he turned things around on the back nine, as birdies at the tenth, 11th, 13th, 14th, 15th, 16th and 18th catapulted him into a share of the lead on ten under alongside Thorbjornsen and Richard Bland.

Lee nearly makes hole-out eagle... three times!

Min Woo Lee showed incredible power and skill at the sixth, muscling his approach shot out of the rough and nearly holing it.

Then he came even closer to an eagle at the eighth, almost dunking this second shot.

Before going this close to an ace at the 15th...

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