Eddie Pepperell holds a three-shot lead at the British Masters as the big names in the field were blown off track on a blustery second day at Walton Heath.
Pepperell – who had sat tied with Tommy Fleetwood and Matt Wallace for top spot overnight – signed for a 69 to move to eight under par.
The Englishman chipped in from off the green at the third hole for one of his five birdies, though he dropped shots at the seventh and 15th, which he bogeyed for a second successive day.
“It was so windy, and I didn’t play very well for the first 12 holes and I was still three under par,” Pepperell, champion at the Qatar Masters in February, told Sky Sports.
“But my putting and my short game were fantastic, and then I actually felt like I hit it very well on the last six holes.
“I maybe could have been a couple [of shots] better, but it was tough out there and I’m obviously very happy with that score.”
— The European Tour (@EuropeanTour) October 12, 2018
Pepperell managed a hole-in-one during his first round 67 but it was Shane Lowry’s turn to record an ace on Friday, his drive at the fifth finding the cup.
As for the chasing pack, Wallace remains in contention after a level-par round left him on five under. Julien Guerrier is also on the same score, though the Frenchman had only completed 15 holes by the time play was suspended due to darkness.
Jordan Smith sits alone a further shot adrift, while a five-man group at three under includes Lucas Bjerregaard, last week’s winner on the European Tour at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship.
Fleetwood’s recent hot streak was cooled off by the strong winds, however, as the Englishman signed for a birdie-free 77 to drop back to level par through 36 holes.
Fellow Ryder Cup colleagues Francesco Molinari and Justin Rose sit on the right side of the projected cut line on two over, but Team Europe captain Thomas Bjorn – along with assistants Luke Donald and Lee Westwood – will not be playing at the weekend.