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Friday, 16 August 2019
Albatross Golf Resort  (Getty Images)
Albatross Golf Resort (Getty Images)

A surprising first, a big finish and some veteran stardust was all part of the story on day two of the D+D Real Czech Masters.

Here is everything you need to know from Friday at Albatross Golf Resort.

Molinari engineers a first

You often see players holding their fingers up to help with judgement on the green but it is a rare thing to see it on a tee box or fairway. Well that is exactly what Edoardo Molinari is doing and it seems to be working as the Italian with a degree in engineering fired a second consecutive bogey free 66 to get to 12 under and lead by two. Surprisingly, this is the three time winner's first 36 hole lead in his 294th European Tour event.

Pieters keeps things interesting

Thomas Pieters won his first European Tour title here in 2015 and since then his career has had plenty of excitement but the Belgian admitted he was bored on Friday afternoon. An opening birdie was followed by nine pars and after a gain on the 11th, he made another four pars in a row. A brilliant birdie-birdie-birdie finish, however, catapulted Pieters up the leaderboard and an exciting weekend could be in store. "I think on 15 I told my caddie I was a bit bored today," he said. "I was playing well but I wasn't making anything. I was two under and a few back so it was nice to finish that way."

Karlsson rolls back the clock

He may have one eye on seniors golf but Robert Karlsson showed he is still a force to be reckoned with on the European Tour on Friday. It was 11 years ago that the Swede won the Order of Merit and played in his second Ryder Cup but, just 18 days short of his 50th birthday, the Swede fired a 68 to get right in contention for win number 12. "I’m here and I want to play well here but at the same time I’m turning 50 soon and am preparing for the Champions Tour Qualifying School," he said. "So I want to get some good results and also build up some good form coming to the end of the season."


Another Prague party for Slattery

After narrowly missing out on qualifying for The Open Championship when finishing ninth at the Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open, Lee Slattery knew that he faced a four week break. That was a blow for the Englishman who had made back to back cuts after missing ten of his first 14 on the 2019 Race to Dubai but he was to return at a happy hunting ground. The 41-year-old has finished second and fourth the past two seasons in Prague and a battling 71 had him in contention again. "Having four weeks at home, you work hard, you go to the gym, keep hitting balls but it's just not the same as competitive golf and until you get out here and start playing with the world's best golfers, you don't really know where your game is," he said. "It doesn't feel as sharp as it did when I left but it is certainly better than I thought it was going to be."

Bjørn again

On Thursday he was matching Haydn Porteous with outrageous chip-ins and on day two in Prague Thomas Bjørn was crowd pleasing again. There are few greater sights in golf than a driver off the deck.

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Tournament Leaderboard

Pos Player nameNatHolePar
1PIETERS, ThomasBEL18-19
2ARNAUS, AdriESP18-18
T3PAVAN, AndreaITA18-16
T3HORSFIELD, SamENG18-16
T5SCHWAB, MatthiasAUT18-14
T5JOHNSTON, LiamSCO18-14

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