DUBAI: Lee Westwood leads Race to Dubai rival Rory McIlroy by two shots after second round of the Dubai World Championship today.

England’s Westwood fired a second-round 69 to lead the field on nine under par, while McIlroy carded the same score. Six men go into the weekend on seven under, including Ireland’s Padraig Harrington, who also returned a 69. Northern Ireland’s McIlroy leads Westwood in the money list by £115,000, but Westwood would topple him if he won, wherever McIlroy finished.

Victory for Westwood would land him a £1.6m jackpot, courtesy of a tournament first prize of £744,000 and a money list bonus of £900,000. The 20-year-old McIlroy remains in the running, however, with a win on Sunday also guaranteeing him the title of European No 1.

Germany’s Martin Kaymer (71) and England’s Ross Fisher (71), who can also top the money list, are two under and level par respectively. Kaymer is out of the reckoning if he fails to finish in the top four, while Fisher needs to be first or second on Sunday.

McIlroy led by two after a dazzling front-nine 31, but three-putted the 14th and 15th in coming home in 38. That left Harrington in front, but he put two balls in water on the 620-yard final hole. The three-time major champion escaped with a double-bogey seven before Westwood birdied the same hole to double his lead.

Also lurking two off the lead on seven under are England’s Ross McGowan, Colombian Camilo Villegas, Australia’s Robert Allenby and South African Louis Oosthuizen. McIlroy, who missed two three-foot par putts coming home, said: “I’m still in a good position. I felt like I played the back nine OK, but it was just those two short putts.”