Rampant Rory gains upper hand over Donald in European title chase

NORTHERN IRELAND’S Rory McIlroy enhanced his chances of finishing ahead of Luke Donald in the race to finish the season at the head of the European Tour money list after making a blistering start to the Dubai World Championship.

US Open champion McIlroy, who must win the tournament and hope Donald finishes outside the top nine if he is to bridge the £680,000 gap, opened up with a superb six under par, which left him in third place, while Englishman Donald languishes in 26th.

World No1 Donald could only muster a level par round which featured three bogeys in the closing five holes. Sweden’s Peter Hanson leads the tournament on eight under par by one shot from Scotland’s Paul Lawrie.