McIlroy expects Race to Dubai twists after opening gap to Willett

Updated: 

Rory McIlroy insists he was paying no attention to how main Race to Dubai rival Danny Willett was faring on day two of the DP World Tour Championships.

World number three McIlroy shot 68 for the second straight day in Dubai to leave himself four shots adrift of leader Andy Sullivan.

Crucially, Willett is now two strokes adrift of McIlroy having signed for a two-under par 70 after his second round on Friday.

But McIlroy is taking nothing for granted and is expecting plenty of twists and turns with two rounds of golf to play.

"I haven't looked [at how Willett was playing]," McIlroy told the European Tour's official website. "I looked at the leaderboard a couple of times and didn't see his name on there.

"So, I figured he wasn't playing quite as well [as on Thursday], but I'm sure from what I saw he's playing well, there's a long way to go and a lot can happen over 36 holes."

McIlroy was playing alongside Emiliano Grillo, who carded the lowest round of the week so far in an eight-under-par 64 that left him one shot off the pace in second.

"It was awfully impressive," McIlroy added. "He's very calm, got a great demeanour, a great attitude. He played some quality shots.

"I played with him in China a couple of weeks back. He's a nice player, doesn't get phased with anything so if he plays like that over weekend it will be difficult for anyone to catch him."

While McIlroy is well in contention, Ian Poulter - who started the day in a four-way tie for the lead - fell off the pace with a two-over-par 74 that left him in a tie for 23rd.

And the Englishman was far from pleased with his performance, posting on Twitter: "I got what I deserved. Disgusting commitment to shots. Disgusting attitude, Disgusting temperament, Lost my cool, Need a low weekend."