Francesco Molinari says he's hoping not to need a pick from Luke Donald for the 2023 Ryder Cup as he set up a weekend duel with fellow Italian Guido Migliozzi at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship on the DP World Tour.
Molinari appears to be returning to the type of form we know he is capable of.
This is a big year for the Italian and he hopes that he will be able to return to the Ryder Cup as a player to help Europe avenge their 19-9 loss at Whistling Straits.
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Molinari and Migliozzi share the lead through 36 holes at Yas Links. A pair of 67s was good enough for Molinari to reach 10-under whilst the latter has gone 65-69.
Migliozzi's round was highlighted by an incredible stinger approach. The 25-year-old brought back memories of watching Tiger Woods first hit the shot with this absolute bullet to a back pin.
Oh @guidomigliozzi #ADGolfChamps | #RolexSeries pic.twitter.com/QYCBAvnNEk— DP World Tour (@DPWorldTour) January 20, 2023
Early leader Donald fell back down the field with an ugly second round 75. Donald began well with back-to-back birdies but dropped shots at 8, 12 and made a devastating triple bogey at the par-3 17th.
Other notable names inside the top-10 include Shane Lowry (70) grouped with a host of players at 7-under. Ryan Fox is one of those players.
Elsewhere, a number of LIV Golf players are projected to miss the 2-under cut. They include Sam Horsfield, Oliver Bekker, Patrick Reed, Adri Arnaus and Hennie du Plessis.
Lee Westwood, Henrik Stenson, Adrian Otageui, Richard Bland, Pablo Larrazabal and Ian Poulter are the other LIV players who will make it to the weekend.
Related: Poulter says he may snub Ryder Cup
Chipping blind, the @LukeDonald way #ADGolfChamps | #RolexSeries pic.twitter.com/tegqbyXW2v— DP World Tour (@DPWorldTour) January 20, 2023
As for Molinari - who addressed addressed his decline in form at the beginning of the week - he said he didn't want to get ahead of himself.
Asked whether Ryder Cup qualification serves as inspiration for a route back, Molinari said:
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