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Yannik Paul extends his lead to five shots in India

Yannik Paul extends his lead to five shots in India

Yannik Paul stretched his lead at the top of the Hero Indian Open leaderboard to five shots after signing for a 69 on Friday morning.

The German began the day with a slender one-stroke advantage but made four birdies and a single bogey to move to ten under par and open up a commanding lead.

Home favourite Angad Cheema, Germany's Marcel Siem, Iceland's Gudmundur Kristjansson and Finn Mikko Korhonen were in a four-way tie for second on five under, with Dutchman Joost Luiten and India's Honey Baisoya another shot further back.

Kazuki Higa and Adrien Saddier became the first players to shoot bogey-free rounds this week with scores of 66 and 68 respectively and they sit on three under.

Paul, who is searching for his second DP World Tour crown, started from the tenth tee on day two and picked up his first birdie at the 11th.

Further gains followed at the 13th and 15th as last week's Thailand Classic runner-up Paul turned in 33 blows.

He dropped his first shot of the day at the short third but bounced back with a birdie from around five feet on the course's next par three - the fifth - to head into the clubhouse on ten under.

Paul was pleased with his performance and pinpointed patience as being key this week.

He said: "I played well. I probably played almost better today than yesterday.

"I felt the pins were in tougher spots today so you had a lot of downhill putts where you think you have a good look but it's actually two or three cups' break. 

"I think the key part is just staying patient. You have quite a few wedges but the pins are so tucked and the course in general is so firm, so you feel like you've got to make some birdies but par is fine too. You just have to stay patient and just focus on myself and see where I end up. 

"I like India, it's my first time in India. Every tournament I'm going to, I'm trying to win, so I'll just see what the weekend brings and take it from there."

The 28-year-old knows what it feels like to taste victory on the DP World Tour, having done so at last year's Mallorca Golf Open.

Paul feels that experience will stand him in good stead as he aims to become a two-time winner this weekend.

He added: "It feels good when you feel like you can first of all get over the line and second of all, make a putt when it matters. 

"I only noticed that last week, I was a bit calmer and more collected because you feel like you've gained experience last year and that helped me last week. 

"I'll try not to focus too much on the leaderboard, on a course like this anything can happen so I'll just focus on my game plan and see where I end up."

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