Davies shares lead as Dodd slips

ABU DHABI // For the second day running at the Abu Dhabi Championship, a Welshman shares the early lead at the top of the leaderboard. But while Stephen Dodd, yesterday's morning leader, bogeyed his first hole today to slip to five-under, compatriot Rhys Davies finished his second round with a 10-under-par 134 total. He shares the lead with the Spaniard Sergio Garcia and the German Martin Kaymer. Davies, who had finished the opening round strongly with four birdies on the back nine to put him on six-under going into today's action, managed a further four birdies - including a splendid display on the hazardous par-3 12th.

Garcia, who came into this week's tournament still nursing a wrist injury sustained at last year's season-ending Dubai World Championship, had said on Wednesday that Abu Dhabi was more a chance to build strength and gain match practice. But the 30-year-old showed no signs of ring rustiness as he notched up six birdies and only one bogey, on the par-4 5th, to put himself right in contention for his first title since last year's Race to Dubai opener, the HSBC Champions in Shanghai. World No14 Kaymer won in the capital in 2008 and appeared comfortable again at the National course this morning. Playing alongside Robert Karlsson and Soren Kjeldsen, the young German roared out the blocks, grabbing six birdies on the front nine and a further one on the 17th. He could have had the lead for himself had it not been for a couple of bogeys on the 3rd and 18th holes, which pegged him back to 10-under. gmeenaghan@thenational.ae

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