(Reuters) – Austria’s overnight leader Matthias Schwab shot a five-under par 67 to maintain a one-stroke lead over four other golfers at the halfway stage at the Turkish Airlines Open in Antalya on Friday.
Schwab sank an eagle on the par-five first hole and had four birdies on the back nine, offset by a bogey on the fifth, to go 12-under overall on a relatively low-scoring day at the Montgomerie Maxx Royal golf course.
“I wasn’t really hitting them great at all, especially early on but kept it together,” said Schwab, who is yet to win his first European Tour title.
“The long game wasn’t on but I managed to make a few good pars. On the back nine I found my swing a little bit and made a few good birdies coming home.”
Sweden’s Alex Noren, Belgium’s Thomas Detry and England’s Ross Fisher and Danny Willett were in a four-way tie for second at 11-under overall.
England’s Tom Lewis, who shared the overnight lead with Schwab, slipped to 11th after signing for a two-under par 70.
Defending champion Justin Rose of England, who is looking to accomplish the three-peat after winning the event in 2017 and 2018, was tied for sixth with four others — two strokes behind Schwab.
“I put myself in position. The dream is alive, no doubt,” Rose said. “Last year I was in way worse shape after two rounds and just got it going on the weekend. If I can build from here, obviously that would be a great place to be.”
(Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Christian Radnedge)