After the hole-in-one heroics of yesterday, the second round of the BMW Russian Open was a much quieter affair although Iain Pyman maintained his march towards a second title at the Moscow Country Club.
The 29 year old followed up his course record 62 with a six-birdie 67 to lead by three strokes from fellow Englishman Benn Barham, who signed for a second 66, and by six from Alexandre Balicki of France, who also went round in 67.
Pyman, who won this title over the same course three years ago, was out from the 10th tee and reached the turn in 34 with two birdies, but had four more in a homeward 33. His only blemish, and his first of the week, came with a bogey five at the last after he drove into some of the many trees that line this magnificent course.
“My recovery also his a tree and bounced backwards about 50 yards,” said Pyman, “It left me a four iron for my third shot, which I got to 15 feet only to miss for par.
"The course was playing a long longer today after the overnight rain but I didn't play as well over the back nine as I did yesterday.
"I putted well again but not so many went in as yesterday," he added. "If they had dropped it could have been another 62.
"When I won here in 1999 I think I was 11 under at halfway and two behind the leader, Greig Hutcheon. I'm just going to do my own thing over the next two days and see what happens."
Barham had seven birdies in his 66 and said: "I saw that Iain had finished on 15 under when we reached the turn. At that stage I was 11 under and I knew I had to keep in touch, but I only managed to pick up one more shot.
"Still, the important thing is that I'm still in the hunt and I'm looking forward to playing in the same match with Iain tomorrow."
Balicki has had a bewildering week, which speaks volumes for his patience and humour. His luggage didn’t turn up with him when he landed in Moscow and he had to borrow some shoes to play his first round in 68.
The missing luggage turned up on Thursday evening and he felt much more comfortable as he returned 67 for 135.
“I borrowed some shoes from Nick Colsaerts but I still played fine,” he said. “My clothes arrived last night and I had six birdies today. I also putted good because the greens are perfect here.”
Another Englishman, Charles Challen and Damien McGrane from Ireland share third place on 136, while five more players lie sixth on 137.
Among them is Frenchman Julien Van Hauwe, who matched Barham’s best-of-the-day 66 with nine birdies, six coming in a row from the 12th. But he was more annoyed by the bogey he ran up at the ninth, his final hole, after he drove into the trees.
“It is my best Challenge Tour round, but you are never happy when you finish with a bogey even if you play well,” he said.
After his hole-in-one exploits that earned him a US$100,000 pay out in round one, David Salisbury fell from grace with a 75 to miss the halfway cut by three strokes.
He may have completed the fourth hole in one remarkable stroke yesterday but he double bogeyed it today after missing the green. He also snapped his four iron against a tree in attempting to find the fairway at the 17th.