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Rhys Davies takes lead with record round

Britain’s Rhys Davies fired a course record-equalling 64 to move two strokes clear of the field after the Hassan II Trophy second round on Friday.

His eight-under-par effort on the Blue Course at the Dar Es Salam complex was matched by South African Louis Oosthuizen, who crammed nine birdies in his 64 to finish in a share of second place.

The 24-year-old Davies reeled off eight birdies to compile a 13-under total of 132, two ahead of Oosthuizen, Frenchman Thomas Levet (65) and Spain’s Ignacio Garrido (67).

Welshman Davies is back on the European Tour after qualifying from the second-tier Challenge Tour last year and he finished joint third at the Malaysian Open earlier this month.

“I’m feeling comfortable and enjoying being on the main tour,” Davies told reporters. “I enjoy playing golf and I enjoy playing against the best players … so it’s great to be out here.

“Compared to this time last year it’s very different. I didn’t have any kind of status in Europe on either the Challenge Tour or main tour.”

Oosthuizen said the Blue Course was easier than the Red layout he played a day earlier.

“I hit some wayward iron shots today but otherwise it was pretty good,” he said. “I putted nicely and basically I am trying to work on my consistency.”

Briton Nick Dougherty, who led after a first-round 66, carded a 69 to finish in a tie for fifth place.

Among those to miss the halfway cut was South African Open champion Richie Ramsay of Britain and Ireland’s Paul McGinley, who was making his comeback from a five-month layoff after undergoing a sixth operation on his left knee.



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