Henrik Stenson holds second-round lead over Rory McIlroy in Dubai

Stenson birdies two of last three holes for two-shot lead over Rory McIlroy at the DP World Tour Championship

Somewhere around the 12th hole, Henrik Stenson found himself running out of steam.

"I had to really focus hard and drag myself over the finish line," he said.

The Swedish golfer might have felt tired, but he didn't play that way. Stenson birdied two of the last three holes at Jumeirah Golf Estates to take a second-round lead over No. 1-ranked Rory McIlroy at the DP World Tour Championship.

Dubai's hot, humid weather took its toll on golfers Friday. McIlroy shot a 70 to finish two shots back at eight under, tied for second with Richie Ramsay and Danny Willett.

"There is a lot of golf left," McIlroy said. "I've definitely been in worse positions after two rounds and still won."

Stenson came into this week knowing he could not catch McIlroy in the season-long Race to Dubai standings. He can, however, defend his title in this tournament.

"It was mainly the putter that was the big difference," he said. "I was definitely better on the greens."

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