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Spieth, McIlroy fall behind as Sullivan leads in Abu Dhabi

Andy Sullivan, teeing off at No. 18, leads the Abu Dhabi Championship at 10 under.

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Andy Sullivan, teeing off at No. 18, leads the Abu Dhabi Championship at 10 under.

ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates — Jordan Spieth, Rory McIlroy and other big names slid off the leaderboard Friday at the weather-affected Abu Dhabi Championship, leaving American amateur Bryson DeChambeau to chase clubhouse leader Andy Sullivan in the second round.

After fog delayed the start of play by nearly three hours, Sullivan shot 5-under 67 for a two-day total of 10-under 134 to make another strong impression in front of his playing partner, European Ryder Cup captain Darren Clarke.

Spieth and McIlroy were in the marquee afternoon group, but both played erratically and were 1 over after 13 holes when play was suspended for the day because of darkness. Spieth was at 3 under and McIlroy 5 under, with both struggling off the tee.

DeChambeau, the surprise first-round leader at 64, was a shot behind Sullivan after playing nine holes in 1 under. Starting on No. 10, he birdied two of his first three holes but bogeyed No. 18 in the fading light.

Joost Luiten (68) and Rafael Cabrera-Bello (67) were in the clubhouse at 7-under 137.

The tour said today's third round will be a two-tee start to make up for lost time.

Sullivan, one of the stars on the tour in 2015 with three victories, won three points from three matches for Europe in its big win over Asia in the EurAsia Cup in Malaysia last week. Clarke captained the team for that event, a test run for the Ryder Cup.

Clarke, 47, of Northern Ireland, and 28-year-old Englishman Sullivan have been close friends since Sullivan turned pro in 2011, and the jokes have been flying between them this week.

Sullivan, known for his big smile and easygoing attitude, says Clarke has been teasing him for being a "short, fat guy" but has been giving it back.

"He's got 60 on his ball and, on the first tee, I said I didn't realize you put your age on the ball," Sullivan said, laughing. "I just try and have a bit of to-ing and fro-ing. It was good fun and kept it relaxed."

Spieth bogeyed Nos. 4 and 5, and avoided finding the water off the tee on No. 9 when his hooked drive hit a spectator and finished in the rough. His only birdie was on No. 10, and the American was two shots above the projected cut of 1 under. McIlroy made 12 pars and a bogey on No. 9.

PGA: Jason Dufner knows his way around PGA West's TPC Stadium Course and the adjacent Nicklaus Tournament Course in La Quinta, Calif. He learned out of necessity at the 2008 PGA Tour qualifying tournament.

"I probably played each four or five times before that Q-school started," Dufner said. "I played unbelievable. I think I shot 24 or 25 under for the six rounds. And to be honest with you, this is kind of where everything started for me, because then in 2009 I had a really nice season."

He thought back to that experience in the CareerBuilder Challenge as he shot 7-under 65 on the Stadium Course to lead Jamie Lovemark by a stroke.

The Stadium Course is back in the event rotation after being dumped in 1987, and the Nicklaus Tournament Course is being used for the first time.

Dufner played the front nine in 6-under 30 on his way to 15-under 129.

Lovemark had 65 on the Nicklaus Course. He holed out from 105 yards for eagle on the par-4 first, his 10th hole of the day.

Phil Mickelson was 11 under in his first start since the Presidents Cup in October and first since splitting with swing coach Butch Harmon to work with Andrew Getson. Mickelson, 45, shot 65 on the Nicklaus Course.

"I'm probably a week away, if I'm being honest," he said. "But I've also won with a lot less game than I have right now."

Champions: Duffy Waldorf shot bogey-free 7-under 65 for 132 through two days to lead the season-opening Mitsubishi Championship in Kaupulehu-Kona, Hawaii. Davis Love, Tom Lehman and Tom Pernice were a stroke back in the 50-and-over event for major champions from the past five years, other winners in the past two seasons and sponsor invitees.

Spieth, McIlroy fall behind as Sullivan leads in Abu Dhabi 01/22/16 [Last modified: Friday, January 22, 2016 11:25pm]
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