England’s Danny Willett set a new course record through 36 holes, 13-under thanks to a second-round 62 to lead the suspended Omega European Masters by a stroke.
About 35 of the field of 156 players are yet to complete their second rounds because of a late-afternoon thunderstorm that halted play at 2:52 p.m. local time. Those players will resume at 7:30 a.m. local on Saturday, although just a handful of those affected are expected to make the cut, currently estimated to be at 1-under.
Willett had his eyes on the first European Tour 59 through nine holes, recording five birdies to reach the turn with a 30. He was 7-under through 11 holes before bogeying No. 12, but bounced back nicely with birdies on 14 and 15 to finish 8-under.
In two rounds, Willet is a combined 9-under on the front nine.
He’s needed every bit of it to stay a stroke ahead of Korea’s Y.E. Yang and Seukhyun Baek, who are each 12-under thanks to their parallel 63s on Friday. Yang was bogey free, and Baek, ranked a distant 494th in the world, knocked in five birdies and an eagle 3 on the par-5, 516-yard No. 15.
Day One leader Gregory Havret of France slipped back to a tie for fifth after a 1-under 69. A day after recording four birdies, an eagle, and an ace, the Frenchman had to settle for two birdies, one bogey, and 15 pars. He’s now one of six players tied at 8-under.
Also in that tie is defending champion David Lipsky of the US, who shot his second straight 66. Lipsky overcame two bogeys in his first three holes.