Oct 31st, 2015
Turkish Airlines Open Moving Day
Words: The Brigadier Photography: Getty Images
Victor Dubuisson has joined Jaco Van Zyl at the top of the leaderboard on 16 under, one shot ahead of Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Rory McIlroy.
Dubuisson shot a five under 67 to Van Zyl’s two under 70, and caught up with the South African on the par five 18th with a fine birdie after he managed to get up and down from the back right greenside bunker.
Dubuisson dropped a shot on the second, but three birdies on the front nine saw him make the turn in 33. A further dropped shot on the tenth, and then four birdies saw him home for a 67 and a share of the lead.
Van Zyl has kept his nerve well, and not been phased either by leading, or dropping behind. At the 17th green he rolled in his third birdie putt to rejoin Kiradech out front at 16 under par, having dropped a shot on the 16th. And when the Indian dropped his only shot of his round on the 18th, he was back in the lead with Victor.
Round of the day belonged to South Korean Byeong Hun AN, who shot a seven under 65, which included nine birdies and two dropped shots. This moved him up the leaderboard to be tied fifth with Chris Wood.
Rory has to fancy his chances for tomorrow. According to McIlroy: "All my 67s were a little different. Today I got off to a slow start and couldn't get any energy going. So to finish the way I did was very pleasing, so maybe this one was the best one.
"The eagle at 13 was the spark. To be able to make three there with where the pin is, was a big bonus. It was nice to make a four at the last as well. I'm not sure what the lead will be, but I'm in a good position."
"I feel like I've played within myself for those 67s, so I feel like there's a better round out there for me."
A lovely first putt on the 18th by Rory almost saw him eagling the hole, but he had to be content with another 67. For a player who still doesn’t feel on his best form yet, that’s pretty ominous for the rest of the field.
Others to mention in dispatches are Chris Wood, Lee Westwood, Richard Bland and Danny Willett. Wood is tied fifth having shot a one under 71 on 13 under, so he’s still only three shots off the lead. Lee Westwood shot a three under 69, and is tied seventh with Richard Bland, whose great form of yesterday deserted him as he could only card a par 72 round.
Danny Willett, Rory’s nearest competitor in the Race to Dubai, had a better day with a four under 68. He’s tied 12th with Shane Lowry, and Thongchai Jaidee.
Finally, it was a dissappointing day for both Graeme McDowell and Matthew Pitzpatrick, who both shot 73s.
It’s a tight leaderboard with seven players within four shots of the leaders. But if Rory finds that extra gear…….