Published: Dec 08, 2011 12:00 PM EST
Updated: Dec 09, 2011 7:30 AM EST

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) - U.S. Open champion Rory McIlroy shot a 30 on the back nine Thursday at the Dubai World Championship to give him the edge over top-ranked Luke Donald for the European money title.

The 22-year-old Northern Irishman had six birdies on the back nine to finish at 6-under 66, two strokes behind leader Peter Hanson. Former British Open champion Paul Lawrie (65) was a shot behind the Swede in second.

Donald (72) had four birdies on the front nine but struggled on the back where he had three bogeys in a row. The 34-year-old Englishman finished in a tie for 26th.

McIlroy, who is second in the money standings, must win the tournament and hope Donald finishes outside the top nine.