By Joy Chakravarty
A bogey-free round at Emirates Golf Club this year is not an easy task. The rough is extremely juicy, the fairways have been narrowed and greens are firm, crusty and tricky.
So, when someone has back-to-back bogey-free rounds and interrupts the pars with as many as 10 birdies, he deserves to be sitting right on top of the leaderboard. Which is exactly the position Thomas Detry is enjoying at the halfway stage of the OMEGA Dubai Desert Classic.
Perhaps you could say the Belgian, who is planning to shift his residence to Dubai next month, is already feeling right at home.
The 28-year-old is considered one of the brightest talents in the game but hasn’t been able to win any tournament at the elite level. All that could change on Sunday.
After a round that included two birdies on the front nine and three on the back, Detry was asked how special a first win on the European Tour would be?
“It would be extra special. I’m moving here in a couple weeks, as well, so this is my new residence. Winning at home would be amazing,” said the world No. 86, who finished runner-up in two ‘UK Swing’ events last year.
Detry missed the cut in the season-opening event in Abu Dhabi but hasn’t done anything wrong so far in Dubai. He leads by one from Scotland’s Robert MacIntyre heading into Saturday.
“First thing that comes to my mind is that I am bogey-free. On this course, that’s a pretty good achievement,” he added.
“I’ve been playing some really good golf, keeping it on the fairway and hitting nearly every single green and getting up-and-down a couple good times. So I’m very pleased.
“The course, it can bite you at any time. There’s some thick rough around the green and hazards come in to play on tee shots, as well. Yeah, the key is knowing when to be hitting conservative shot and hitting aggressive shots.
“I’m just going to take the exact same approach into the weekend. It’s been working really well. The front nine can be a bit tricky, but the back nine has plenty of birdie opportunities. So if I can keep it that way and take advantage of those par 5s, it will be pretty special.”