Matt Wallace carded a second-round 67 at Hillside Golf Club and will enter the weekend with a one-shot lead at the Betfred British Masters.
For the second straight day, the Englishman made his way around the famed Southport course cleanly while mixing 13 pars and five birdies en route to a 12-under par total.
Wallace, who enjoyed a three-win breakout season in 2018, is planning to use his home event as a start to the next phase of his career.
“It’s not about this week because I want to take that next step,” said Wallace, who’s now ranked No. 36 in the world. “I want to win the big tournaments and I haven’t performed in the big tournaments really at all.
“To do that we have started this new process and it will come at some point rather than come straightaway. So this week, we’ve got no expectations. We’re going out there to play and I’m showing some good stuff.”
A four-player logjam was one further back at 11-under par, including Swede Niklas Lemke, who carded a low-round 64, highlighted by an eight-birdie run. Wallace’s countryman Ross Fisher (65), Belgian Thomas Detry (67), and Scot Richie Ramsay (67) were the others in the T2 group at 11-under par.
A second Swede, Marcus Kinhult, was alone in sixth-place after a second-round 69 got him to 10-under par.
Pos-Player-To Par (Rd 2)
1. Matt Wallace -12 (-5)
2. Rickie Ramsay -11 (-5)
2. Ross Fisher -11 (-7)
2. Niklas Lemke -11 (-8)
2. Thomas Detry -11 (-5)
Driving: 287.8 yards (56th)
Fairways: 19/28, 67.9% (23rd)
Greens: 31/36, 86.1% (2nd)
Putts/GIR: 52, 1.677 (22nd)
Wallace’s Round-2 Highlights
“It’s very similar to if you think about Francesco. Three years ago, he wasn’t where he was now and he’s taken that different approach, his own approach, and I’ll have mine. I want to be doing what he’s doing, Ryder Cups and Majors and competing at every single event pretty much. We have to learn our trade, learn the way, and this week is a start where I’m just going to try and play and start fresh.”
– Matt Wallace