Dubai Desert Classic: Pepperell leads as Fleetwood, Westwood enjoy second-round swings

Lee Westwood enjoyed a huge improvement in round two to make the cut in Dubai, where Eddie Pepperell holds a one-shot lead.

Eddie Pepperell on day two of the Dubai Desert Classic.   -  Getty Images

Eddie Pepperell holds a one-shot lead at the halfway stage of the Dubai Desert Classic after carding a second round of 67.

The Englishman followed up Thursday's 69 with seven birdies and two bogeys to move to eight under par, a stroke clear of Dean Burmester, who was involved in a car crash on Wednesday, Bryson DeChambeau and Robert Karlsson.

Pepperell was six under through 13 holes only to see his form falter when the broadcasters started paying close attention.

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"I was happy with how I was feeling early and I got off to a nice start," said the 29-year-old.

"For the most part, it was very, very good until the cameras came along. I must have been concerned with how I was looking because then I started struggling!"

DeChambeau opened with three consecutive birdies and made three further gains at the 10th, 13th and 14th holes after a slip at the par-four sixth for the second day in a row.

A further birdie at the 17th allowed the 2019 winner to recover from another dropped shot on the par-three 15th and end the day in a tie for second.

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Tommy Fleetwood is four strokes off the lead after a brilliant 65 propelled him back up the leaderboard following an opening round of 75.

Compatriot Lee Westwood also enjoyed a 10-shot swing, his four under for the day just enough for him to make the cut after a miserable opening 78 that included six bogeys.

Graeme McDowell was less fortunate, the 2010 U.S. Open champion finishing at three over after failing to recover from a double bogey at the fifth.

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