NEWS

Six of the best give Pavon Turkish lead


Matthieu Pavon carded a stunning 64 to go two shots clear at the top of the Turkish Airlines Challenge leaderboard at the halfway point in Belek.

The Frenchman, who finished tied fourth at the Challenge de Madrid last week, ended his second round with a flourish as he shot six birdies on the back nine to take his score to eight under par for the day and 12 under par overall.

Playing in the morning, the 23 year old enjoyed the best of the weather as Gloria Golf Club was bathed in sunshine for much of the day before an afternoon thunderstorm caused play to be suspended for half an hour, resuming in time for all players to complete their rounds.

“Conditions today were perfect for us,” he said. “Yesterday was different, we had a bit of a stormy day, but this morning it couldn’t have been better.

“The greens are good and there are definitely low scores to be made, but I’m feeling great about where I am right now.

“I feel like I’m playing better and better every day just now, and my putting was so good out there today, especially on the back nine – I was six under on the back nine and felt like I made every putt.”

Playing in just his fourth Challenge Tour event, Pavon’s main focus is to improve week by week as he came into this tournament in 17th place in the Road to Oman Rankings, just 400 points outside the top 15 who will earn European Tour cards at the end of the season.

“In Madrid, I was starting to play well and out here this week I’m playing even better than I did in Madrid.

“This is my first year on the Challenge Tour and I’m just trying to do my best, improve my game, and we will see what happens.”

Hot on Pavon’s heels are current Road to Oman Rankings leader Sebastian Soderberg and compatriot Clément Sordet, who both shot four under par rounds of 68 to reach ten under par heading into the weekend.

One shot further back in a five-way tie for fourth place are Nico Geyger, Sebastian Heisele - who both eagled the ninth hole – Wales’s Oliver Farr, Englishman Aaron Rai and Joël Stalter of France.

 Farr, who won the inaugural edition of this tournament two years ago, said his best short game performance of the season helped him on his way to carding a bogey-free 66.

“It’s nice to be back in Turkey and playing well,” he said. “Today was a really good day. I didn’t hit the ball great but putted the best I’ve done all season.

“The course is in really good nick. The pins weren’t too dissimilar from yesterday and there was nowhere near as much wind as I had yesterday afternoon. The ball went a bit further today which is always a bonus.

 “It’s nice to be back up there again and competing. I’ll keep trying to do what I did today and hopefully that’s good enough.”

There was Turkish delight as Ediz Kemaloglu shot an impressive 68 to finish on two under par and make the cut - which fell at one under par - alongside 70 players.

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