AVIV Dubai Championship Halfway Hut: Antoine Rozner leads again as Tommy Fleetwood lurks

Day two news, stats, quotes and social after 36 holes at Jumeirah Golf Estates where the defending champion holds a one-shot lead.

Antoine Rozner isn't giving up his AVIV Dubai Championship lightly.

For much of day two in Dubai, it looked as if early starter Francesco Laporta would hold the halfway lead after a bogey-free 64 took him to 14-under.

But defending champion Rozner came through with a stunning burst of six birdies in his final eight holes to knock the Italian off the summit.

Frenchman Rozner is now a remarkable 40-under for his last six rounds on the Fire Course at Jumeirah Golf Estates.

He won the trophy with 25-under last year and is 15-under for the first two laps of his defence.

Denmark's JB Hansen shares second place with Laporta on 14-under 130, with Finland's Kalle Samooja, who shot a back nine 29 in his 64, a further stroke back.

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The top five is rounded out by a pair of Englishman - one a surprise but the other one of the pre-tournament favourites.

Paul Waring, who has been struggling for form, continued his unexpected bid with a 67 while Tommy Fleetwood overcame a slow start to fire a second straight 66 to pull within three of the lead.

Fleetwood's Ryder Cup teammate, Paul Casey, is seven back after shooting back-to-back 68s.


Rozner ranks tied 1st for Scrambling and 8th for both Greens in Regulation and Putting Average. He's only 56th in Driving Accuracy.

Laporta ranks 3rd for GIR and tied 1st for Scrambling. He's only 54th for Putting Average.

Fleetwood is 8th for GIR and 12th for Putting Average.

Value bet

Niklas Lemke's long game looks in superb shape. He's 3rd for Driving Accuracy and 1st for GIR.

The Swede, who finished tied eighth here last year, is currently five off the lead but if he can hole some putts on the weekend, Lemke could make a mockery of his halfway odds. The each-way terms are 1/5 1-2-3-4.


A look at what the leaders said after Friday's second round:

Antoine Rozner (-15, 64)

"I think I was playing really well, even on the front nine - a few putts didn't drop. I just kept putting myself in good positions hole after hole and a few putts dropped on the back nine which was great.

"It was definitely one of my best ball-striking rounds out here between this year and last year.

"My long game was perfect, I was striping it shot after shot, I missed one green on 17 and that was the only hole I put myself in trouble but I got away with it with a good par.

"I'm just very pleased, it's not that easy. You still have to play well, hit good shots, make some putts. I'm not the only one who's playing well so you've got to keep grinding for the next two days."

Francesco Laporta (-14, 64)

"I played solid the last two days, I've missed only one green actually. My long game is pretty good, my short game needs a bit of work especially my putting - I three-putted three times but at the end of the day I'm pretty happy about my score.

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"It was windy yesterday when we started and then it came down a bit, but this morning was completely different. The ball wasn't flying much like yesterday, maybe one club or more difference. But the conditions were perfect and the scores are just amazing.

"I think this is the result of the hard work I've been putting in the last three months, my game is pretty solid. I like to work hard and me and my team are working really hard and these are the results of that."

JB Hansen (-14, 67)

"It was steady. I hit a lot of greens, a lot of fairways which gave me a lot of opportunities.

"Unfortunately I missed a lot more than I did yesterday, but I still think I left some out there. I played very similar golf to yesterday but five under is a good score.

"The shaping - I feel like I can shape it right to left or left to right quite easily on this course. The wind is a bit different from yesterday when we played it, a bit of a different course today, but I like playing here. It's a while since I've been up there so I'm just enjoying it."

Kalle Samooja (13, 64)

"I got it going on the back nine, six birdies in a row which is my longest stretch on the European Tour but I think I kept patient. I had some chances on the front nine but I couldn't really hole the putts and then I got it going on the back nine.

"I just wanted to keep it going. I stiffed it on the second and then a long putt on the third after a bad wedge so that gave me a bit of momentum, and then stiffed it to four and five and then a long putt on six.

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"I haven't played great lately so it's nice to turn it around and be up there at the weekend."

Paul Waring (-12, 67)

"Started quite nicely, obviously made birdie down one which is always a nice way to start your day, didn't really get into the round too well after that.

"I missed a couple of chances, I think I turned two under par and then had a good little run from there.

"Then I lost a ball down 13, made seven at the par five which put me on the back foot, but from there I bounced back quite nicely and made a few birdies on the way in."

Tommy Fleetwood (-12, 66)

"It was a poor start. I missed a chance on the first and then missed a short putt. On such a low scoring course if you have a dry patch it feels so much worse.

"I holed a putt on seven and played really, really well coming in and had plenty of chances. I felt like I did a good job of continuing to play and hitting good golf shots.

"I didn't get panicked or frustrated that I hadn't had the start I would like. And then it all came together, which doesn't always happen. But it did and it was another good day."


A Fleetwood special, Casey chips in, some vintage Harrington

Birdie for Casey

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Sawn-off swing perfection from Tommy

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Paddy peppers the pin

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READ MORE: What they said after R1 at the AVIV Dubai Championship

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