2023 DP World Tour Championship: Tommy Fleetwood, Viktor Hovland in pursuit after Round 2 in Dubai
Nicolai Hojgaard holds the solo lead at 11 under two rounds of action at the 2023 DP World Tour Championship. The young Dane has built a two-shot gap between himself and the field after rounds of 66-67 and the players in pursuit of some of the closest he has grown at this year’s Ryder Cup.
“I feel [a win is] the only thing I missed this season, but there are two rounds to go,” said Hojgaard. “There are a lot of very good players in this field, I know they will be in the hunt in the coming days, and I going to keep grinding as much as I can and push myself around, hopefully, and we’ll see on Sunday.”
Marco Simone’s Hojgaard’s European team-mate Tommy Fleetwood has his eyes on a statistically impressive season with a victory of his own at Jumeriah Estates in Dubai. A relatively new resident of the area, the Englishman leads the field with 14 birdies and stands at 9 under at the halfway point.
“It’s always great to be here,” Fleetwood said. “I don’t really care what you do in your career, I feel it means a lot to organize this event and to have the opportunity to play for this tournament. In fact, this one is close to my heart. I always feel like it produces great winners, great champions, so I’ve put myself in or around it. “We are involved in a competition like this, the last one of the season, it is really good.”
It is far too late for Fleetwood to win. Experience close calls at the Canadian Open, FedEx Championship St. Jude and the BMW PGA Championship, the 32-year-old is still putting himself in with a chance. Although he is unable to convert, his confidence remains.
It will be a tough task for Fleetwood who not only have to contend with Hojgaard and his two-shot lead but also Viktor Hovland, who also sits at 9 under. A man who needs no extra confidence, the 2023 FedEx Cup champion is once again in contention at a big-time tournament heading into the weekend.
“I still feel like my iron game isn’t as sharp as it should be,” Hovland said. “I’m hitting a lot of greens and I’m giving myself a lot of looks, but the ball still goes so far that it’s really hard to dial in distance. good and doing well.”
Hovland’s game should only improve as the tournament progresses. Playing for the first time since the Ryder Cup, the Norwegian had a rusty chance with an opening 69. Looking much better on Friday with a seven-birdie 66, the 26-year-old gave himself the chance to capture his fifth prize. in the last 11 months and put a strong bow on a career year.