Willett, McGrane have Dubai club lead at 8 under

BERNIE McGUIRE Associated Press Published:

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) -- English golfer Danny Willett soared to the top of the Dubai Desert Classic leaderboard on Friday, four days after a 4,000-meter (13,000-feet) sky dive over Dubai.

Willett birdied five of his closing six holes to shoot a 7-under-par 65 in the second round and take the clubhouse lead at 8-under 136.

He was joined moments later by Damien McGrane of Ireland, who carded 70. Both players are chasing their second European Tour victory.

Willett, along with his wife and caddie, undertook the assisted sky dive on Monday, free-falling for the first 300 meters (1,000 feet) in aid of two U.K. charities.

"Trying to hit a drive into the fairway seemed a little bit less nerve-wracking than jumping out of a plane at 13,000 feet," he said. "It might have prepared us quite well.

"As soon as you jump out ... you're thinking, what are we doing? Then after the initial jump, you start to kind of level out and it feels like you're floating down, it's unbelievable."

Henrik Stenson also moved into contention for a second Dubai title with a 67 to be one shot off the lead.

Rory McIlroy, who began the round with a two-shot lead, bogeyed his first hole.

Tiger Woods, playing with McIlroy, commenced his round at 4 under as he strives to become only the second three-time Dubai winner beside Ernie Els.

However, there was an early exit for Els, who shot a 70 for a par total and the assurance of missing the eventual halfway cut.