Perez Leads Saudi International By One At Halfway Stage

France’s Victor Perez leads the Saudi International powered by SoftBank Investment Advisers after posting back to back rounds of 65.

Perez is 4th on the Race to Dubai leaderboard following a joint runners-up finish at the first Rolex Series event of the season, the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship presented by EGA, and he sits at -10 at the halfway stage this week in Saudi Arabia at the Saudi International.

For the second round in a row, the Frenchman has birdied both the 17th and 18th holes at Royal Greens Golf and Country Club, en route to consecutive five-under-par rounds of 65.

The two overnight leaders, Gavin Green, and Graeme McDowell, may not lead after 36 holes, but they both remain inside the top three ahead of the weekend’s action.

The Malaysian sits in solo second following a round of 67 on Friday afternoon, while McDowell, the 2010 U.S. Open champion, carded a 68, and he sits two shots back at -8. Italian Renato Paratore is in 4th spot, three shots off the leading Frenchman after his second round of 65 moved him up to -7.

Victor Dubuisson makes it two Frenchmen inside the top five after the second round at Royal Greens, following a 65. He is joined by Thailand’s Jazz Janewattananond and England’s Ross Fisher, with the trio in a tie for the 5th spot.

Defending Saudi International powered by SoftBank Investment Advisers champion Dustin Johnson is five shots off the lead in a tie for 8th, alongside Henrik Stenson, Marcus Kinhult, and Francesco Laporta.

British Open winner Shane Lowry and five-time major champion Phil Mickelson are among those at -4, six shots back, while Germany’s Martin Kaymer is a further shot back. He posted the lowest round of the day, a six-under-par 64, to move from outside the cut line, making it through to the weekend’s action.

The likes of Sergio Garcia, Andy Sullivan, Matt Wallace, and last week’s Omega Dubai Desert Classic winner Lucas Herbert are all under par following the conclusion of the second round, along with World No.1 Brooks Koepka and Spain’s Adri Arnaus, who had this unfortunate bunker happening during Friday’s action.

https://twitter.com/EuropeanTour/status/1223232540317757440

Ian Poulter and Edoardo Molinari are at level-par after two days, with the likes of Christiaan Bezuidenhout, Ernie Els and Ryan Fox at +1, right on the cut line. The New Zealander started the day inside the top five, but after a round of 75 on Friday, he had to wait to see if he would be playing the final two rounds in King Abdullah Economic City.

However, for the likes of Zander Lombard and Scott Hend, they narrowly missed out on making it through to the weekend’s play, while Patrick Reed, Bernd Wiesberger, Lee Westwood, and Erik van Rooyen failed to make the cut.

It was a bad day for England’s Tom Lewis, who managed to drop more than 100 places down the leaderboard, having started the day at -4. He ended the day at +5 following a 79 on Friday afternoon, ending his week in a tie for 110th, and well below the cut line.

Christiaan Bezuidenhout and Ernie Els will be the first pairing out on the course on the third day of the Saudi International powered by SoftBank Investment Advisers, starting off at 07:07 (GMT+3).

The final pairing, of Gavin Green and leader Victor Perez, will tee off at 13:00, but will the Frenchman continue to hold the lead come to the end of the third day’s play at the Saudi International?

Leaderboard:

  • 1 (-10): Victor Perez (FRA)
  • 2 (-9): Gavin Green (MAS)
  • 3 (-8): Graeme McDowell (NIR)
  • 4 (-7): Renato Paratore (ITA)
  • T5 (-6): Jazz Janewattananond (THA), Victor Dubuisson (FRA), Ross Fisher (ENG)

Selected Others:

  • T8 (-5): Dustin Johnson (USA), Henrik Stenson (SWE)
  • T11 (-4): Shane Lowry (IRL), Phil Mickelson (USA), Justin Walters (RSA)
  • T18 (-3): Martin Kaymer (GER), Sergio Garcia (ESP), Andy Sullivan (ENG), Pablo Larrazabal (ESP)
  • T31 (-2): Matt Wallace (ENG), Lucas Herbert (AUS), Nacho Elvira (ESP)
  • T38 (-1): Rafa Cabrera Bello (ESP), Brooks Koepka (USA), Adri Arnaus (ESP)
Next: Brooks Koepka: Once again not getting the attention he deserves

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Missed Cut:

  • T77 (+2): Zander Lombard (RSA), Scott Hend (AUS)
  • T88 (+3): Patrick Reed (USA), Bernd Wiesberger (AUT), Lee Westwood (ENG)
  • T101 (+4): Erik van Rooyen (RSA), Jack Singh Brar (ENG)
  • T110 (+5): Tom Lewis (ENG)