Birdie run helps Aaron Rai to survive the cut in Dubai

Three birdies in the last five holes helped Aaron Rai beat the cut at the Golf in Dubai Championship.

England's Aaron Rai
England's Aaron Rai

With players shooting low scores in benign conditions at the Jumeirah Golf Estates, Wolverhampton’s Rai had been in danger of missing the cut mark of two under par.

However, the 25-year-old birdied the 14th, 15th and 16th holes to finish the second round on five under par and secure his passage to the final two rounds.

Staffordshire’s Robert Rock had been in a similar predicament but an eagle three on the par five 13th and a birdie at the last hole confirmed his place in the third round as he finished a shot further back on four under par overall following a round that also included five bogeys.

However, both men are well behind fellow Midlander Andy Sullivan, who leads the tournament on 17 under after two stellar opening rounds of 61 and 66.

Sullivan said: “I really had to work hard at staying patient, when I was three under through nine it didn’t feel as good as yesterday, but you know you’re still on the right track. I knew I was swinging it well and if I could keep giving myself opportunities I could make a few coming in. If you’d told me I’d shoot 61-66 I’d have snapped your hand off.

“My processes were really good. I felt like I went through everything I should have done, I was seeing the lines really well. Pace was a bit firm today and I hit a few a few feet by, which is why I missed on the high side a few times. I just stuck to my process, it’s the only thing I could control out there and it has been working.

“I feel like I’ve got the golf ball under some sort of control at the moment. I know what shapes I can hit and how much I can move it. It just feels really comfortable out there off the tee and into the greens, it feels like there aren’t many pins I can’t get at, which is a nice feeling to have. It didn’t happen too often in the season, so it’s nice to have that.”

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