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Friday, 30 November 2018
Victor Perez  (Getty Images)
Victor Perez (Getty Images)
Victor Perez was pleased to follow up his opening 64 with another low round on Friday to remain firmly in contention at the halfway stage of the Afrasia Bank Mauritius Open at Anahita.

The Frenchman has been in fine form in recent months, graduating from the Challenge Tour in style after winning the Foshan Open and coming second at the Ras Al Khaimah Challenge Tour Grand Final in his next event.

He carried that momentum into the 2019 Race to Dubai campaign, finishing in a tie for third at last week's season-opening Honma Hong Kong Open presented by Amundi.

And he has started brightly at Four Seasons Golf Club Mauritius at Anahita this week, posting rounds of 64 and 69 on the first two days to sit three strokes behind leader Kurt Kitayama.

After recovering from an early bogey by firing four birdies on Friday morning, first-round co-leader Perez said: "I thought it was quite nice to bounce back after the bogey at the second.

"Going off at 7am with no wind, really ideal conditions and the two par fives at the second and the fourth, you're hoping to get off to a good start.

"I wasn't able to do that but I was able to grind through it, stay patient and make some pars.

"The birdies at nine and ten got the round going and then I made two more birdies on the back nine.

"It was definitely nice to back up the performance of yesterday with another solid round. 

"Only one dropped shot early which could have been avoided but I don't think I was really in trouble, except at the 11th where I could have dropped a shot and I was able to make a nice par save. 

"I'm definitely pleased moving into the weekend."

Perez's countryman Matthieu Pavon was also three shots off the lead after carding one eagle, six birdies - including four in a row around the turn - and two bogeys as the wind blew in the afternoon.

Pavon, who started at the tenth tee on Friday, was pleased with his performance. He said: "I made a bad three-putt on my first hole, that was just a little mistake. I thought the green was much faster with this grain and I made a mistake. 

"I hit a good second shot on the par five, holed a putt and started moving in the right way. 

"I got my putter hot on those four holes on the back nine, making good shots and holing some. 

"I try to restart every hole, giving myself a chance to make more and more birdies and it happened on those holes. I'm really happy with that. 

"I love this island, I love warm weather. I feel great in these conditions - windy and warm - so I feel very comfortable on this golf course.

"I will try to do the same during the next two days and if I drop some putts and good shots I will be close at the end on Sunday."

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Tournament Leaderboard

Pos Player nameNatHolePar
1KITAYAMA, KurtUSA18-20
T2S, ChikkarangappaIND18-18
T2PAVON, MatthieuFRA18-18
4HARDING, JustinRSA18-17
T5FRITTELLI, DylanRSA18-16
T5KAWAMURA, MasahiroJPN18-16

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