McIlroy faces uphill climb in Race To Dubai

By MICHAEL CASEY | December 9, 2011 | 9:02 AM EST

Rory McIlroy from Northern Ireland watches his ball on the 2nd hole during the second round of the Dubai World Championship golf tournament on Friday, Dec. 9, 2011 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. (AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili)

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Rory McIlroy's bid for the Race To Dubai title took a hit when his ball landed in the water on 18, finishing five shots off the lead halfway through the Dubai World Championship on Friday.

The second-ranked McIlroy needs to win at Jumeirah Golf Estates and hopes No. 1 Luke Donald finishes no better than ninth to claim the European money title. Donald is bidding to become the first player to win both the European and American titles.

McIlroy had a 1-under 71 to trail Spanish leader Alvaro Quiros, who eagled the 18th for a 64.

Donald shot a 68 and is eight strokes behind the leader, tied for 12th.