Laporta produced a birdie blitz, desert specialists thrived and there was more than one type of good shot on day two of the 2020 Abu HSBC Championship presented by EGA.
Here is everything you need to know from round two at Abu Dhabi Golf Club.
Laporta makes a leap
Just three months ago Francesco Laporta did not have a European Tour card or a professional victory to his name. He now has two European Challenge Tour wins in the bag that helped him win the Road to Mallorca, and he holds the 36 hole lead at a Rolex Series event. The Italian did it in spectacular style, too, birdieing his last five holes in a 63 to lead by one at ten under. "I just want to enjoy the weekend," he said. "I played solid all 18 holes, my putting was solid, my driver, my irons. I gave myself a lot of opportunities for birdies and so when I had the opportunities, I took them. Every time I was putting for birdie, I made it. It was a great day."
Chasing pack enjoying desert delights
Rafa Cabrera Bello and Matthew Fitzpatrick sit just one shot off the lead and they have eight European Tour wins between them, including two in the desert. Sergio Garcia claimed two of his 16 victories in the Middle East and he is just two back alongside Li Haotong, who has lifted a trophy in the United Arab Emirates. Cabrera Bello has even moved to the Arabian peninsula, which may explain why he can putt like this. The desert specialists are in the hunt.
Four little words
Driver. Off. The. Deck. Hitting the big stick from the fairway seems to be getting more and more common but that doesn't mean that we will ever get bored of seeing it. This from Thomas Pieters is a classic of the genre. Dreamy.
The award for best cinematography goes to............
We know Brooks Koepka is the Number One player in the world but have we also found the Number One cameraman? We think we might have because this is incredible.
Soderberg goes low
There are fast starts and there are fast starts. On Friday, Sebastian Soderberg birdied seven of his opening nine holes to turn in 29 en route to an excellent 64. Nobody had played nine holes in 29 blows here since Fitzpatrick in 2018 and the Swede had only done it once before in his European Tour career - on home soil last season. Take a bow.
A game of inches
Koepka was pretty close to an albatross in round two.
But not as close as Viktor Hovland was to an eagle.