|-ten S Horsfield (England), J Catlin (United States), S Lowry (Ireland); -9 A Bjork (Sweden), R McIlroy (NI)|
|Others selected: -8 M Kaymer (Germany), C Morikawa (United States), -7 R MacIntyre (Sco), S Garcia (Spa); -6 J Donaldson (Wal); -5 P Casey (English), M Fitzpatrick (English) T Pieters (Bel)|
Shane Lowry reached a round of 65 to take the lead three with John Catlin and Englishman Sam Horsfield 10 under par at the halfway point of the DP World Championship.
A double bogey on the 18th saw night leader Rory McIlroy slip to nine cents alongside Alexander Bjork.
Dubai race leader Collin Morikawa has eight cents after a second 68th in a row.
The reigning Open champion aims to become the first American to win the European Tour Season Award.
Although he only hit five fairways, former world number one McIlroy was leading 11 under on the 18th tee, but then hit his drive into a fairway bunker and compounded the error by attacking the pin with his third shot as his ball bounced into the stream on the green. .
McIlroy’s subsequent fall sank into the thick grass and he was unable to get up and down for a bogey as his 10-foot putt slipped.
As he fought off the tee for most of the day, McIlroy said he had no hesitation in hitting his pilot at the end.
“I had a good shot there yesterday. It’s a comfortable tee shot for me,” the 32-year-old told Sky Sports.
“He was playing lightly upwind. I hit that tee shot really well. I didn’t expect it to go that far and go up to the face of the bunker.”
McIlroy, who will be paired with Morikawa on Saturday, added: “The third shot… I hit a really good shot. That part of the fairway where the ball was pretty rough and was spinning a bit in the wind.
“I didn’t feel like it deserved to end in the water and it was difficult to get on and off from there.”
Dane Jeff Winther, who claimed his first European Tour victory at the Mallorca Open last month, birdied five of his first seven holes to take a share of the lead before McIlroy started his round, but the quadruple major winner regained a two-stroke. by the seventh following his three birdies.
A lowry in charge – helped by an eagle chip-in in the 14th – and Horsfield, after his five straight birdies in the sixth, joined McIlroy with 10 under.
Horsfield, whose two European Tour wins came over a three-week stretch in the summer of 2020, took the lead in solo by birding in the 14th, but back-to-back bogeys on the 16th and 17th did. fall back to 10 cents.
McIlroy regained the lead with a 15-foot bird putt on the 16th before his misadventures on the last hole knocked him one behind the leading three.