The American, ranked No. 25 and playing in Dubai for the first time, made nine birdies before he bogeyed his final hole – hitting the water on his second shot on No. 9.
“I putted fantastic. I made a couple long ones yesterday and then made a few more today that kind of had no right going in,” said Young, the runner-up at the 2022 British Open. “I didn’t make too many mistakes.”
McIlroy is a three-time winner of the tournament and is coming off a second place at last week’s Dubai Invitational behind Tommy Fleetwood, who was eight shots off the lead after his 70 on Friday
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