Amateur Thorbjornsen shares the second round lead at Dubai Desert Classic
28 Jan 2023
by Jim Young of

see also: Michael Thorbjornsen Rankings

Michael Thorbjornsen
Michael Thorbjornsen

While Ludvig Aberg grabbed the early attention at the Hero Dubai Desert Classic, another amateur is threatening to win one of the biggest tournaments on the DP World Tour.

Playing on a sponsor's exemption, Michael Thorbjornsen, currently second in the Golfweek/ rankings, finds himself tied for the lead with Richard Bland and Thomas Pieters at 10-under par after the Stanford junior carded an 8-under 64 on Saturday at the Emirates Golf Club.

Starting his round on hole No. 10,'s 2022 Player of the Year made five birdies over his first six holes and chipped in for an eagle on the 18th to go out in 30. He came home in 34 for an 8-under 34 to gain a share of the lead with Bland and Pieters.

Two shots back are current world No. 1 Rory McIlroy, 2018 Masters champion Patrick Reed and Ryder Cup veteran Ian Poulter.

“It feels good, I didn’t have the best round yesterday and then day before, felt like I missed a lot of putts out there,” Thorbjornsen told WorldWideGolf.

“Thought I had a pretty good game plan but just stuck to it today. I actually made some putts.

“I enjoy playing professional golf a lot and I’m still an amateur but just the golf courses that we play, the crowd out there, it’s what I’m dreaming of ever since I was five or six years old. It just feels good to be out there."

This is not the first time Thorbjornsen has contended in a professional event. In June, he finished fourth at the Travelers Championship, four shots behind winner Xander Schauffele.

After opening with a superb 65 on Thursday, Aberg slipped back into a tie for 22nd following a second-round 73 that left him at 6-under.

The weather-delayed Rolex Series event will resume with third-round action on Sunday and will culminate with a Monday finish.

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