It was a day of carnage in Abu Dhabi. The local weather was right, the wind was in the game throughout this second round of the Abu Dhabi Championship. And the gusts sometimes exceeding 50km/h reshuffled the cards of the tournament. If Scott Jamieson, a good Scottish connoisseur of this kind of very airy games, has rounded his back (74, +2) and is still in the lead, he is only one step ahead.
Hovland and Poulter on the hunt
Starting early in the morning on the Yas Links, Ian Poulter and Viktor Hovland are part of the trio of pursuers one shot from the lead. The Englishman played in par and climbed two ranks in a day when the river scores were legion.
Only nine cards under par were returned this Friday on the Yas Links in Abu Dhabi.
« It was really hard, admitted the Postman. It was very tricky to get out of it in such conditions. Some shots were really risky towards flags sometimes placed at the water’s edge. In a way, that’s the kind of day you enjoy, and in a way, those are really hellish days. »
His Ryder Cup teammate, Viktor Hovland also admitted to being rather satisfied with his 74 of the day: “ It’s the kind of day where you play defensively all the time. You really had to hang on hard the whole game. I’m always well placed and that’s the most important thing. »
Perez well anchored
Victor Perez remains in contact with the lead after a second round completed in 74 shots (+2) which drops him to 9th provisional rank. However, the Tarbais remained very positive at the Golf + microphone: “ It was obviously a complicated day, everyone will have the same speech tonight. The wind was very strong and constantly cross throughout the game, the flag positions were not easy. I’m happy with my game because it was very hard.
My big game held up and even if it’s complicated to putt in these conditions, I only got one putt from a distance with a bit of luck. Everything had to be done to register two putts per green at all times, even 3 or 4m from the hole. With gusts over 50km/h, you could be clearly scared on the greens. It’s up to me to continue on this good momentum, we’ll see how the weekend goes. »
And the other Blues?
Julien Brun also points to this exact same 9th rank, but the Cannes native saw his second round stopped by the night when he had 6 holes left to play. Perhaps a blessing in disguise as the weather forecast predicts a less hectic weekend.
Victor Dubuisson will also have to get up at dawn on Saturday morning to complete the remaining six holes of his second round. In the par until then, he points to the 16th provisional rank.
Romain Langasque has finished this exhausting second round. His par card allows him to climb 37 places in the standings to 38th position.
It’s over this week, however, for Frédéric Lacroix (80) and for Alexander Levy who responded to our colleagues from Canal + after what he straightforwardly described as ” shitty day in the shape of an 82. “ The conditions were very complex and I struggled to manage them, explained a visibly frustrated Alexander. I struggled a lot on the greens…”
Antoine Rozner was also swept away by the gusts and his 79 of the day relegated him to 121st place, very far from the mark. Even if he closes the blue step, the Parisian did not shy away from the Golf + camera either and did not look for excuses: “ The recovery was complicated for me, but there was some good. It’s up to me to know how to bounce back and keep working. »
What else to remember?
Best score of this day of carnage for the Dane Jeff Winther who with a 69 (-3) progresses 45 places in the standings for 9th place! A performance all the more remarkable as he only conceded two points to a furious Yas Links.
World No. 2 Collin Morikawa and Rory McIlroy suffered like everyone else on Friday, both returning cards of 74 and 75 respectively for a total of +3. They are on waivers just favorable for the cut for the moment set at +3. McIlroy even had to birdie his last hole of the day to hope to be part of the party this weekend…
Putt of the day? It is to the credit of Alexander Björk who investigated almost the entire green of the 9th, or 31m, for an improbable birdie which allows him to make one of the rare cards under par of the day and to point in 5th place.