McIlroy shoots 30 on back 9 in Dubai, trails by 2

December 8, 2011 - 8:31 AM
China Dubai World Championship

In this photo taken on Dec. 1, 2011, Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy tees off at the 6th hole during the first round of the Hong Kong Open golf tournament in Hong Kong. Number 2-ranked McIlroy will be in a duel for the European money title with No. 1-ranked Luke Donald in the Dubai World Championship, a European Tour golf tournament, this weekend. The Northern Irishman trails Donald by just under €790,000 ($1 million), so to capture the title he must win the Dubai championship starting on Thursday, Dec. 8, and hope that Donald finishes outside the top nine. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — U.S. Open champion Rory McIlroy shot a 30 on the back nine Thursday at the Dubai World Championship to take an early lead on top-ranked Luke Donald for the European money title.

The 22-year-old Northern Irishman had six birdies on the back nine to finish at 6-under 66, two strokes behind leader Peter Hanson. Former British Open champion Paul Lawrie (65) was a shot behind the Swede in second. Sergio Garcia had a 67.

Donald (72) had four birdies on the front nine but struggled on the back where he had three bogeys in a row. The 34-year-old Englishman finished in a tie for 26th.

McIlroy, who is second in the money standings, must win the tournament and hope Donald finishes outside the top nine.