Scott slips back in Dubai Desert Classic

Ian ChadbandAAP
Adam Scott has slipped back to eight shots off the lead at the Dubai Desert Classic.
Camera IconAdam Scott has slipped back to eight shots off the lead at the Dubai Desert Classic. Credit: AAP

Adam Scott has slipped down the field at the lucrative Dubai Desert Classic after a frustrating series of errors marred the run-in during the Australian star's second round at the Emirates Golf Club.

The 41-year-old recorded a bogey and a double bogey in his final five holes on Friday to severely damage his chances of being in the mix for the 1.2 million Euros ($A1.9 million) first prize.

Those three dropped shots in a level-par 72 meant that after being in a reasonable position to launch an attack over the weekend, Scott has instead slid back to three-under for the tournament, now eight shots behind Justin Harding, the leader at half-way.

Scott's major calamity, after his round started at the 10th hole, came at his penultimate par-four hole when he pushed his drive a long way right, failed to find the fairway with his second, missed the green with his third and ended with a short missed bogey putt.

In stark contrast, Harding enjoyed the distinction of birdieing the 18th hole twice on the same day as he opened up a two-shot lead over his pursuers.

The South African returned early to complete his first round and made a tap-in birdie at the par-five final hole to join Thursday's overnight leader JB Hansen at the top of the leaderboard with a seven-under 65.

He then went out again and holed a 22-footer on 18, even though that wasn't as much fun for him as the the eagle he recorded from 183 yards on the par-four sixth hole.

Harding's second-round 68 leaves him leading the way ahead of England's Tyrrell Hatton, who, along with his Ryder Cup teammate Rory McIlroy, enjoyed the joint-best rounds of the day. Their 66s both included a chip in.

Erik van Rooyen (67) and Fabrizio Zanotti (70) were tied for third at eight-under.

McIlroy moved ominously into a tie for fifth on seven-under, and reckoned he had "hit the ball as good as I have in a long time."

Along with Scott, two other Australians made the cut, with Lucas Herbert one-under for the tournament after a 73 and Maverick Antcliff level par following a 75.

But rounds of 73 from veterans Wade Ormsby and Scott Hend, which left them at five-over, and a 74 from Jason Scrivener (eight-over) weren't enough for them to make it to the weekend's action.

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