Noren back in the groove in Antalya

Alex Noren admitted he could feel his confidence returning as he fired an excellent 67 to put himself right in the mix for a third Rolex Series title at the Turkish Airlines Open.

Alex Noren

The Swede has been one of the European Tour's most successful stars in recent seasons, taking his tally of victories into double figures and playing a starring role in Europe's 2018 Ryder Cup victory.

He admits the 2019 Race to Dubai has been a disappointment by his very high standards, with no top tens so far, but he has kept his eye for the occasion, with his best finish at tie for 11th at The Open Championship.

The 37-year-old was performing on the big stage again on Friday and while a closing bogey - his first in 58 holes -dropped him out of the lead at The Montgomerie Maxx Royal, he was showing signs of a return to his brilliant best.

This is what I want to do and I love playing for the win - Alex Noren

"I've played a lot of tournaments and tried to work on my whole game," he said. "Maybe not focus too much on parts of the game like I've done before, just try to get the whole game together. Play a lot of golf on the golf course and maybe just trying to add both shapes.

"I've been struggling with the putting over this year - you try to over read or try to do this and this, instead of just doing your routine and get into it. Once you see some go in, your confidence goes back. So it's not that far away.

"Yesterday I played probably the best I've played and today the front nine was amazing. So I take out a lot of positives. If somebody said you get 11 under after two days, I'd take it.

"This is what I want to do and I love playing for the win."

Danny Willett

Another double Rolex Series winner in Danny Willett was also at 11 under and he feels two more rounds in the mid 60s will be needed to lift the trophy after starting the week 67-66.

“A lot better than yesterday, real solid," he said. "Didn't really give ourselves too many silly things. Had a couple of three putts in there which was slightly annoying but a nice score to build on over the weekend.

"The golf course is there for the taking, going to see a lot of low scores. You've just got to hope that someone doesn't go too crazy over the weekend and hope that you're still in there with a shout with 18 or nine to play.

"You just have to keep your foot down and keep trying at birdies and see what you can do.”

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