Edouard Dubois extended his overnight lead on the second day of the Turkish Airlines Challenge after continuing his remarkable form on the par fives, two further eagles helping the Frenchman move three clear at the top on 11 under.
On a day when play was suspended for 55 minutes due to the threat of lightning, the two-time Challenge Tour winner was lucky enough to have signed his card before the klaxons were sounded, but there was nothing lucky about his five under par round of 67.
After an opening 66 which included two eagles and two birdies at the par fives, Dubois recorded two more eagles – on two different long holes this time, the fifth and the twelfth – and another birdie at the first to bring his total score over the par fives this week to an incredible 11 under par.
On a lay-out in which all of the par fives are reachable in two, the 26 year old predicted after his opening round that they would play a big part in who emerges victorious this week, so he was delighted to take advantage of that and remain in pole position heading into the weekend.
“It was pretty much the same as the first round today,” said the Bordeaux player. “My putting was good again too and, while I missed a few drives to the right, that was the only bad thing about my game today.
“I’m going to go and do some practise and get some rest and I’ll be ready for the weekend. I don’t need to change anything, just keep going with what I’ve been doing. I need to stay focussed on my game and do the best that I can. I don’t want to look at what other players are doing.
“I just want to go as low as I can and, of course, if I can go into the final round with as big a lead as possible, that would be much better.”
While 2011 was a breakthrough year for Dubois on the Challenge Tour, sealing two victories in the space of four weeks en route to graduation to The European Tour, another notable fact that season was that he had only made ten out of 21 cuts.
But it is not something which plays on his mind too much because he knows that on those occasions when he does have victory in his sights, he is well capable of seizing the opportunity.
“I would prefer to be more consistent with my results, of course,” he said. “But I know that when I’m up there on the leaderboard, I’m pretty good with that so I’m very confident for the weekend. Hopefully after this though, I won’t miss any more cuts!"
Sweden’s Björn Åkesson is Dubois’ closest challenger after signing for a six under par second round of 66, which included eight birdies, to move to eight under.
The Malmo player got off to the perfect start, birdieing the opening three holes - rounded off nicely with a converted 25-foot putt for a three at the par four third hole. Åkesson admitted that he did get the rub of the green on occasion but is feeling confident of catching the leader at the weekend.
“There were a lot of birdies,” said the 26 year old. “I had some bad tee shots but they were so bad I had shots into the green. On the fourth I missed it almost onto the third fairway but I just had a pitching wedge in, over the trees.
“It was the same on a couple of other holes early on but after that I played very solid, gave myself plenty of birdie chances and holed some good putts, so it was steady overall.
“I like the course though. It’s tight but you will find the ball and you have to try and shape a shot to the green.
“I am confident. The game feels pretty good and it has done for a while. My ball-striking has been good and it still is, but now my putting is getting better so I have a really good chance of scoring well. I just need to stick to the game plan I have and I think I have a good chance of closing that gap at the top.”
Englishman William Harrold was a shot further back on seven under par after he carded a six under second round 66, while Scotsman Peter Whiteford, Jens Dantorp of Sweden (both 66), American Connor Arundell (69), South Africa’s Brandon Stone (68) and Damien Ulrich of Switzerland (68) were all in a share of fourth place on six under.