David Law took control at the Ras Al Khaimah Championship presented by Phoenix Capital as the Scot carded an eight under 64 to take a two-stroke advantage into the weekend at Al Hamra Golf Club.
The 30-year-old, whose sole win came almost exactly three years ago at the ISPS Handa Vic Open, had finished his first round with an eagle and he carried that momentum into the second day in the northernmost of the United Arab Emirates.
Law registered two more eagle threes and birdied the other two par fives at the coastal resort, with three further birdies earning him a 64 and a 14 under par total.
That moved him two shots clear of Nicolai Højgaard of Denmark, whose seven under 65 was enough to claim outright second spot heading into the weekend on 12 under. Spain’s Adrián Otaegui, meanwhile, broke the course record at Al Hamra with a stunning 63 which left him four shots off the lead in third spot, on ten under.
David Law: “I chipped in twice for two eagles so that was picking up four shots straight away which was great. I played good, yesterday was tricky, today as a little different. It was a different golf course today, but I rode my luck a little, chipping in twice, but I was happy.
“I think we saw yesterday afternoon that it was tough. It wasn’t easy to put it close and, although the pins were tight, there’s not much rough around the greens so if you are in the fringes you’re not far away. That creates opportunities, if you hit shots that miss the green, statistically it doesn’t look great but you might be 15 feet and they’re chances to hole putts. It was certainly a different test today.
“It’s been a while since the win. This is my fourth season on tour. I had a chance at St Andrews last year to win and I felt very comfortable again in that position. I feel like my golf has progressed nicely in the last three years and that’s the main aim, that’s all anyone’s trying to do – to keep improving.
“I feel like I’ve done that and it’s about giving myself opportunities. It’s not about putting pressure on myself to go and win again ort anything like that. If I keep knocking on the door and giving myself chances, I’ll hopefully win one of them.”
Nicolai Højgaard: “It was a good day, I played some nice golf, felt like I was driving it a bit better than I have for the last couple of weeks so I put myself in some good spots to hit it close to the pins. It was a very day to shoot a good score again so I’m looking forward to the weekend.
“My length was definitely a big advantage off the tee. Today I hit some key drives, on 13 and 14, and there are a few bunkers I can carry, so if I can hit it straight the length is definitely an advantage.
“After those last two weeks, I put in some good work. I felt like my thoughts and swing were a bit blocked up, I couldn’t free up so I’ve just been trying to free up a little bit, play golf with my skills and let my talent take over instead of trying to overthink things.”
Adrián Otaegui: “Actually the biggest difference from yesterday was that yesterday I played really good with my irons to the hole but I wasn’t feeling very confident with my driving, but today I was. I took a lot of fairways compared to yesterday. I didn’t have to fight for pars so I think that was the biggest difference.
“Yesterday I holed some good putts, today I holed some good ones as well. I think the difference today was that I felt a lot more comfortable with my driving.
“I tried to just keep it going, keep giving myself birdie chances. I was feeling confident with my putting, I was rolling the ball very well, so nothing really special in my mind. Just the basics, keep going and I think we did that very well.”