Sullivan leads by 3 in Dubai, close to 36-hole record score

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Andy Sullivan came within a stroke of tying the European Tour record for the lowest 36-hole score by shooting 6-under 66 in the second round of the Golf in Dubai Championship on Thursday.

The English golfer followed up his round of 61 on Wednesday by making five birdies and an eagle at the Jumeirah Golf Estates, lifting him to 17 under par overall and a three-shot lead.

Ernie Els holds the 36-hole record after being 18 under par in 2004 at the midway point of the Heineken Classic.

Colin Montgomerie, meanwhile, was 18 under for his final 36 holes at the European Masters in 1996.

Sullivan’s one victory this season came at the English Championship in August, when he finished on 27 under par for a seven-stroke win.

He said he spoke to a psychologist before his round on Thursday in a bid to stay patient.

“I feel like I’ve got the golf ball under some sort of control at the moment,” Sullivan said. “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.”

Englishmen Ross Fisher and Matt Wallace shot 63-67 in the opening two rounds and shared second place on 14 under.

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