Skip to main content
Part of complete coverage on

Driving lesson: Dustin Johnson pulls clear of wayward Rory McIlroy

November 1, 2013 -- Updated 1659 GMT (0059 HKT)
Dustin Johnson acknowledges the gallery after completing his record equaling nine-under 63 in Shanghai. Dustin Johnson acknowledges the gallery after completing his record equaling nine-under 63 in Shanghai.
HIDE CAPTION
Johnson powers clear
Driving master class
Wayward Rory
Bubba in the hunt
Walking on water
<<
<
1
2
3
4
5
>
>>
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Dustin Johnson takes halfway lead at HSBC Champions in Shanghai
  • Shoots course record equaling 63 at Sheshan International
  • First round leader Rory McIlroy falls back into tie for second
  • British Open champion Phil Mickelson seven shots adrift

(CNN) -- With arrow straight driving, big hitting Dustin Johnson powered his way clear of the field at the WGC-HSBC Champions in Shanghai Friday while first round leader Rory McIlroy paid the price for wayward play from tee to green on his back nine.

Texan Johnson overpowered the Sheshan International course with a nine-under 63 to go five clear of McIlroy and fellow Americans Bubba Watson and Boo Weekley on 12-under 132 after two rounds.

Johnson's playing partner Graeme McDowell -- still in the hunt on six-under -- could only look on in wonder. "I've probably seen 18 of the best drives I've seen all year in the last two days," he remarked during their round.

"I really drove the ball well," Johnson told the official PGA Tour website. "For me, that's a big key."

Countdown to Ryder Cup
Nick Price: Career is dream come true
Exclusive: McIlroy on media scrutiny

He picked up six birdies in his opening seven holes and after completing a front nine of 30 held it together to come home in 33.

McIlroy, hunting his first tournament win of 2013, also made a fast start with three birdies on the front nine to build on his first round 65.

But coming home it all went wrong for the 24-year-old Northern Irishman -- let down by errant tee shots and approach play to give up three shots to par.

Finding the water on the par-five 18th with his approach shot, McIlroy made a disappointing bogey to finish on level par 72.

"I just hit a couple of bad shots, and then I guess I let it affect me a little bit, and then I started to doubt myself sometimes," McIlroy said.

"I didn't hit a lot of quality shots on the back nine."

He was joined in joint second place by Weekley (67) and Watson (69), the 2012 Masters champion a crowd pleaser on his first trip to China.

"Everything about the trip has been beautiful. Malaysia last week (CIMB Classic) and then here. It's perfect," he said.

McDowell, second in the European Tour's Race to Dubai, shot a second straight 69 to share fifth with England's Tommy Fleetwood and Ian Poulter, Spanish pair Sergio Garcia and Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano and South African great Ernie Els.

British Open champion Phil Mickelson was back on five under with U.S. Open winner Justin Rose.

"I'm making a lot of birdies," Mickelson said. "But I've had too many mistakes," he admitted.

Swede Henrik Stenson, who is leading the Race to Dubai, was completely out of sorts and shot a four-over 76 to stand six-over and in 70th out of the 78-man field.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
Bubba Watson is the Masters king, but can he win a major away from Augusta? Living Golf's Shane O'Donoghue has the lowdown.
April 15, 2014 -- Updated 1412 GMT (2212 HKT)
Arnold Palmer
Arnold Palmer won his first major at Augusta, played there with the U.S. President and made a record 50 consecutive Masters appearances.
April 10, 2014 -- Updated 1202 GMT (2002 HKT)
He is remembered for designing one of the world's most famous golf courses, but the man behind Augusta died pleading to be paid.
April 9, 2014 -- Updated 1426 GMT (2226 HKT)
Will Phil Mickelson win a fourth green jacket? Can Europe end its long Masters wait? Or will Adam Scott emulate the absent Tiger Woods?
April 10, 2014 -- Updated 1004 GMT (1804 HKT)
Take a trip around Augusta. From Eisenhower's toppled tree to the fiendishly-difficult Amen Corner, the Masters' home venue has it all.
April 8, 2014 -- Updated 1204 GMT (2004 HKT)
He's been mistaken for Tiger Woods' ball-boy, but that won't be the case when amateur star Matt Fitzpatrick tees off at the Masters.
April 4, 2014 -- Updated 1228 GMT (2028 HKT)
2012 Masters Champion Bubba Watson shows us how to hit the long ball.
April 3, 2014 -- Updated 1827 GMT (0227 HKT)
CNN's Shane O'Donoghue meets Billy Payne -- the chairman of Augusta National Golf Club.
April 3, 2014 -- Updated 1739 GMT (0139 HKT)
Shane O'Donoghue meets Ben Crenshaw who won his first of two Masters thirty years ago this month.
April 3, 2014 -- Updated 1803 GMT (0203 HKT)
CNN's Shane O'Donoghue walks in the footsteps of the famous British golf course architect.
March 27, 2014 -- Updated 1300 GMT (2100 HKT)
They carry a bag for a living but these men can bring home six-figure incomes. Welcome to the world of a caddy.
CNN's Alex Thomas welcomes golf opening itself up to women, but questions the motives behind the decision.
ADVERTISEMENT