Belek – Nicolas Colsaerts seized the halfway lead in the Turkish Airlines Open with a flawless 64 as South Africa’s Dylan Frittelli made a nice leap towards the top in the $7 million Rolex Series showpiece at the Regnum Carya Resort and Spa on Friday.
Colsaerts caught the birdie train and racked up seven gains to catapult to 14 under 128. The big-hitting Belgium will sleep on a four shot lead over England’s Eddie Pepperell, who registered a 66, while Kiradech Aphibarnrat from Thailand finished a further stroke back after a 67.
Frittelli, meanwhile, capped a round of solid driving and pin seeking irons with a magnificent par-save at his final hole - the par-four 10th. A bogey-free four under 67 handed the Johannesburg golfer a seat on the bus at five under.
And the South African has some heady company in Olympic gold medal winner Justin Rose, Major champion Padraig Harrington from Ireland, English hot ticket Tyrrell Hatton and defending champion Thorbjorn Oleson from Denmark, among others.
Frittelli made a solid par start at the tough 11th, followed with a text-book birdie at the par-five 12th.
“I hit a great wedge 13 to a foot and tapped in for birdie at 13 and then I strung together nine pars in a row where I literally couldn’t find a birdie,” said the 27-year-old. “I had one save from off the green in that whole stage, so it was really solid ball striking to 15 feet at the most.
“I hit an aggressive tee shot down the left side of the fairway at five and wedged it up to about six feet. Made a good birdie there, but I let myself down at the eighth. I should have made birdie there. I hit a great drive and then skinned a three-wood into the fairway bunker. Terrible shot, but managed to get the trap shot on the green and save par.”
Frittelli drained a 15-footer for birdie at the ninth before he got himself out of trouble in the trees at 10 to keep a clean card.
“I realised I was bogey-free standing on the 10th tee and managed to carve one into the trees,” he said. “I must say I recover superbly through a gap in the trees. I hit a six-iron from 192 yards and it just trickled over the back into the bunker, but I’d left myself an easy up-and-down to save par.”
Frittelli is currently 39th in the Race to Dubai and has his sights on the top 30.
“I was really happy to go around bogey-free, because when you drop a shot you lose almost a shot and a half on the field,” he said. “I’m well behind Nicholas, but if I can make 10 or 12 birdies over the next two days, I could play myself into the top 10.
“That’s where you want to be in the last couple of events if you’re chasing the top 30. If I can have a decent finish here and a decent performance at the Nedbank Golf Challenge, I might just make it and that will get me into all the majors next season.”
While Frittelli was enjoying the spoils of his labour, countryman Haydn Porteous had a train wreck of a round and winded up
The over-night co-leader with Colsaerts and Joost Luiten was one under after eight holes, but he gave four shots back around the turn with double bogeys at nine and 10. He regained some traction with birdies at 12 and 15, but another double at 16 and a bogey at the final hole for a costly 75 dropped Porteous to five under.
George Coetzee had four birdies, but gave all of it back with a bogey at 12 and a big eight at the par five 15th. He signed for a 71 to wind up almost exactly where he was at the started the second round - back at even par.
Brandon Stone double bogeyed 17 and dropped the first, but cruised through the rest of the back nine in straight pars for a 74 to finish at three over. Richard Sterne posted 71 and Dean Burmester 72 to finish at five over and six over respectively.
Second round leading scores at the Turkish Airlines Open in Antalya, Turkey on Friday (par 72). GB/IRE unless stated:
128 - Nicolas Colsaerts (BEL) 64 64
132 - Eddie Pepperell 66 66
133 – Kiradech Aphibarnrat (THA) 66 67
134 - Shane Lowry 68 66, Stephen Gallacher 69 65, Matthew Southgate 69 65, Matthew Fitzpatrick 69 65
135 – Lee Westwood 67 68
136 – Thomas Pieters (BEL) 69 67, Jordan Smith 69 67, Peter Uihlein (USA) 69 67, Soren Kjeldsen (DEN) 67 69
137 – Dylan Frittelli (RSA) 70 67, Justin Rose 69 68, Thorbjorn Olesen
(DEN) 69 68, Paul Dunne 67 70, Tyrrell Hatton 67 70, Ian Poulter 66 71,
Matthieu Pavon (FRA) 66 71, Anders Romero (ARG) 65 72, Padraig
Harrington 65 72, Joost Luiten (HOL) 64 73
141 - Tommy Fleetwood 71 70, Thomas Bjorn 70 71
142 – Martin Kaymer (GER) 71 71
144 – Henrik Stenson (SWE) 73 71