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Stenson leads McIlroy by 2 at European Tour finale

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — Henrik Stenson birdied two of his closing three holes to seize a two-shot lead over Rory McIlroy and two others in the second round of the World Tour Championship on Friday.

Stenson’s 6-under-par 66 put him at 10 under overall in his bid to defend a title for the first time.

The top-ranked McIlroy (70), Scotland’s Richie Ramsay (69) and England’s Danny Willett (67) were tied for second on 8 under at Jumeirah Estates.

Stenson birdied his opening two holes, dropped a shot at the fourth, birdied the fifth, and picked up more birdies at 10, 13, 16 and the last. He finished in style despite admitting to hitting the wall at the 12th hole.

“I felt like I was running out of steam. It was difficult mentally from there on. I had to really focus hard and drag myself over the finish line. I’m pleased with that,” Stenson said.

Besides seeking his ninth title, Stenson is working to finish second in the Race to Dubai that he topped last year. McIlroy has already clinched the European money title and, following a six-week layoff, has his sights set on winning the tour finale for the second time in three years.

He moved to 8 under with a first-hole birdie but stalled with 10 straight pars and a 12th-hole bogey. McIlroy birdied the 14th and 15th holes, dropped a shot at 16, birdied the 17th, and found water on the last.

“I just didn’t quite have it today,” he said. “I grinded out a score, which was the main thing. I’m still in a good position.”

CME GLOBE TOUR: At Naples, Fla., Michelle Wie played well enough in the CME Globe Tour Championship to consider a million ways her great year can get even better.

On another blustery day, Carlota Ciganda of Spain had a 5-under 67 to share the lead with Julieta Granada of Paraguay, who shot 70. They were a stroke ahead of Morgan Pressel, who birdied all the par 5s in her round of 66.

Wie had a 67 and emerged as a possibility to win the Race to CME Globe and collect the $1 million bonus. Wie was two shots off the lead and in prime position to capture the biggest payoff in women’s golf.

Stacy Lewis struggled to a 74 and was six shots behind. Inbee Park was eight shots back after a 74.

PEBBLE BEACH INVITE: At Pebble Beach, Calif., Lee Janzen shot a 4-under 68 at Pebble Beach for a two-stroke lead over Andrew Putnam after two rounds of the Callaway Pebble Beach Invitational.

Janzen, a two-time U.S. Open winner, had a bogey-free round. He is at 11-under 133.

Putnam, a PGA Tour rookie, followed his 69 at Spyglass Hill with a 66, also at Pebble Beach.

PGA Tour rookie Tony Finau, who had a two-shot lead after an opening-round 63, had a 79 at Spyglass and is among seven players at 2 under.

Hall of Famer Annika Sorenstam carded a 79 at Spyglass. She is at 152.

The 43rd tournament features 82 players from the four major tours as well as mini tour and club pros.