Matt Wallace carded a bogey-free 65 to take a one-shot lead into the weekend at the season-ending DP World Tour Championship, Dubai.
The Englishman finished his second day at Jumeirah Golf Estates with 11 pars and seven birdies, highlighted by three gains over a four-hole stretch on Nos. 11, 13, and 14 en route to a two-day total of 11-under par.
“That’s up there with one of the best this year,” said Wallace, who is seeking his fourth European Tour title of the season.
“I’m playing with freedom now and trying to place as high as I possibly can come the back nine holes on Sunday and then that’s when I normally will try and kick in and want to win a tournament, depending on where I am.
“I’ve been in this situation before, just not in this sort of tournament. The best players are out there in the world and I just want to compete and see where my game is at against them.”
Countryman Danny Willett fired a 67 to sit T2 at 10 under alongside overnight leaders Adrian Otaegui (68) and Jordan Smith (68) with reigning Masters champion Patrick Reed one further back after a bogey-free 66.
In the battle to be crowned Europe’s Number One, Tommy Fleetwood – who needs a win, and a T5 or worse finish by Francesco Molinari, in order to capture a second-straight Race to Dubai title, was at 8 under after a day-two 67.
Molinari was eight shots off the pace at 3-under par following a 73.