DUBAI: Defending champion Antoine Rozne led the way at 15-under-par at the end of the second day of the Aviv Dubai Championship on Friday. Rozne held a one-shot lead over Francesco Laporta and day one’s leader, Joachim Hansen.
Rozner shot the lowest score of the day with a bogey-free 64 on the Fire Course at Jumeirah Golf Estates, with six birdies in his final eight holes. The Frenchman has yet to go over-par after 36 holes, following his 65 on Thursday.
“I think I was playing really well, even on the front nine, a few putts didn’t drop,” Rozner said. “I just kept putting myself in a good position hole after hole and a few putts dropped on the back nine, which was great.
“My long game was perfect, I was striping it shot after shot, I missed one green on 17 and that was the only hole I put myself in trouble, but I got away with it with a good par,” he added. “I’m not the only one who’s playing well, so you’ve got to keep grinding for the next two days.”
Laporta, in search of his maiden victory on the European Tour, matched Rozner’s low score of the day, with another bogey-free 64. “I played solid the last two days, I’ve missed only one green actually,” he said. “My long game is pretty good, but my short game needs a bit of work, especially my putting — I three-putted three times but at the end of the day I’m pretty happy about my score.
“I think this is the result of the hard work I’ve been putting in over the last three months; my game is pretty solid. I like to work hard and me and my team are working really hard and these are the results of that.”
Jorge Campillo made the biggest leap up the leaderboard, shooting eight-under to climb 58 places into a tie for 17th. Campillo began his day-two campaign with an incredible seven-under 29 on his first nine holes, which was the back nine on the Fire Course.
After two days of perfect weather and course conditions, the cut fell at five-under-par, matching the lowest ever cut on the European Tour. Sixty-nine golfers hit that mark or better to secure their spot into day three.
Home favorite Ahmad Skaik followed up his record-breaking round on Thursday with a solid one-over par to narrowly miss the cut, but significantly improving on his previous European Tour appearances.
Ryder Cup teammates Tommy Fleetwood and Bernd Wiesberger are lurking three and four shots back respectively. The duo are looking for a strong weekend performance to become the fourth member of Team Europe, after Rory McIlroy, Viktor Hovland, and Matt Fitzpatrick, to win a tournament since the defeat at Whistling Straights.