European Tour

Pavon paves a path to the top in Oman

Matthieu Pavon (Getty Images)
Matthieu Pavon (Getty Images)

Cape Town - Matthieu Pavon stormed to the halfway lead at the Oman Open thanks to a scorching hot streak which yielded eight birdies in the space of 11 holes, a seven-under 65.

This handed the Frenchman a two-stroke advantage going into the weekend at the spectacular Al Mouj Golf in Muscat.

"I'm feeling good in my game, I'm very happy right now so I'll just take it easy and we will see what happens," said Pavon.

"I really enjoyed every part of my game today. Everything was really consistent and solid, I played a lot of good shots, holed a few really good putts so everything was just perfect. I just love the course, I was focusing on getting more and more birdies. I just had my mind on my game.

The 25-year-old is one of the few players in the field this week to have experienced the epic Greg Norman-designed links overlooking the Gulf of Oman. 

Pavon claimed a top three finish at the Challenge Tour's season-ending event here in 2015 to wrap up his European Tour card for the first time.

"It's a lot of good memories that helps me out here. When you play bad on some courses and you are going back the next year, you have some bad memories. Here is just the opposite. I just have so many good memories so I just try to surf on them," he said.

"I like to be aggressive so I'm used to making a lot of birdies but also bogeys. All the French people are expecting a good French player to play in the Ryder Cup team. I'm young and doing the best that I can but I definitely hope someone can play in the event. For now I’m just focussed on my game and the process and nothing about the result."

Pavon put that know-how to good use on day two as he dropped just one shot to put some space between himself and second-placed Matthew Southgate.

Southgate, who would have shared the overnight lead, had he not finished with a double-bogey six at the 18th, signing for a two under 70 and nine under total.

Southgate's first round co-leader Paul Waring also struggled to build on a strong start as a one under par 71 left him on eight under alongside English compatriot Chris Wood, who carded a flawless 66.

Wood's European captain at the 2016 Ryder Cup, Darren Clarke, was another player to record a bogey-free second round in the Omani capital as the Northern Irishman made the halfway cut for the second time in as many appearances following a long barren spell of weekend golf.

Scores:
133 M Pavon (Fra) 68 65,
135 M Southgate (Eng) 65 70,
136 C Wood (Eng) 70 66, P Waring (Eng) 65 71,
137 D Huizing (Ned) 66 71,
138 J Luiten (Ned) 72 66, M Kinhult (Swe) 69 69, J Guerrier (Fra) 69 69,
139 F Zanotti (Par) 68 71, D Clarke (Nir) 72 67, A Johnston (Eng) 71 68, P Khongwatmai (Tha) 70 69, O Farr (Wal) 68 71, L Slattery (Eng) 72 67, M Manassero (Ita) 68 71, S Han (USA) 70 69, S Brazel (Aus) 68 71,
140 J Smith (Eng) 68 72, A Björk (Swe) 72 68, A Otaegui (Esp) 69 71, G Bourdy (Fra) 72 68, A Sullivan (Eng) 67 73, A Levy (Fra) 71 69, R Rock (Eng) 69 71,
141 C Shinkwin (Eng) 67 74, S Gallacher (Sco) 74 67, A Rai (Eng) 71 70, M Wallace (Eng) 69 72, C Syme (Sco) 70 71, M Warren (Sco) 69 72, T Detry (Bel) 72 69, J Winther (Den) 70 71,
142 S Fernandez (Esp) 72 70, D Drysdale (Sco) 72 70, B Hebert (Fra) 72 70, S Chawrasia (Ind) 73 69, R Sterne (RSA) 72 70, E Pepperell (Eng) 71 71, N Bertasio (Ita) 70 72, S Hend (Aus) 71 71, A Pavan (Ita) 70 72, Z Lombard (RSA) 72 70, M Kieffer (Ger) 70 72, J Wang (Kor) 73 69, T Pulkkanen (Fin) 74 68,
143 J Thomson (Eng) 71 72, T Jaidee (Tha) 72 71, D Kataoka (Jpn) 69 74, R McEvoy (Eng) 72 71, R Evans (Eng) 72 71, J Campillo (Esp) 73 70, R Jacquelin (Fra) 69 74, O Fisher (Eng) 73 70, J Dantorp (Swe) 71 72, G Green (Mas) 72 71, C Ford (Eng) 69 74, S Lee (Kor) 69 74, B Neil (Sco) 74 69,
144 E Molinari (Ita) 73 71, D Im (USA) 75 69, C Bezuidenhout (RSA) 70 74, M Ilonen (Fin) 73 71, T Bjørn (Den) 71 73, N Geyger (Chi) 72 72, H Porteous (RSA) 72 72, C Sordet (Fra) 74 70, P Larrazábal (Esp) 73 71, P Angles (Esp) 73 71, P Lawrie (Sco) 71 73,

CUT

145 L Jensen (Den) 72 73, J Scrivener (Aus) 75 70, F Aguilar (Chi) 69 76, V Perez (Fra) 72 73, A Chesters (Eng) 74 71, R Bland (Eng) 72 73, R Wattel (Fra) 73 72, S Gros (Fra) 72 73, J Morrison (Eng) 72 73, M Schwab (Aut) 74 71, T Aiken (RSA) 74 71, C Pigem (Esp) 73 72, J Kruyswijk (RSA) 72 73, S Sharma (Ind) 73 72, G Moynihan (Irl) 71 74, D Horsey (Eng) 73 72,
146 L Bjerregaard (Den) 76 70, J Lagergren (Swe) 71 75, S Brown (Eng) 76 70, S Heisele (Ger) 70 76, R Cho (Kor) 70 76, C Koepka (USA) 73 73, R Karlsson (Swe) 77 69, J Janewattananond (Tha) 72 74, M Siem (Ger) 74 72,
147 A Wall (Eng) 75 72, P Oriol (Esp) 70 77, H Sturehed (Swe) 75 72, M Baldwin (Eng) 72 75, S Horsfield (Eng) 72 75, L Canter (Eng) 73 74, J Donaldson (Wal) 74 73, L Herbert (Aus) 73 74, G Fernandez - Castaño (Esp) 73 74,
148 M Foster (Eng) 75 73, S Crocker (USA) 75 73, S Kjeldsen (Den) 73 75, A Saddier (Fra) 74 74, M Nixon (Eng) 73 75, J Choi (Kor) 72 76, C Hanson (Eng) 72 76, M Korhonen (Fin) 71 77, B Ritthammer (Ger) 73 75, R Gouveia (Por) 75 73,
149 B Rumford (Aus) 74 75, J Heath (Eng) 78 71, M Lorenzo-Vera (Fra) 77 72, B Dredge (Wal) 71 78, N Elvira (Esp) 75 74, B Evans (Eng) 76 73, R Paratore (Ita) 73 76,
150 B Stone (RSA) 76 74, L Gagli (Ita) 75 75, M Schneider (Ger) 74 76, P Stojanovski (Aus) 75 75, G Havret (Fra) 76 74,
151 A Quiros (Esp) 74 77, W Ashun (Chn) 71 80,
152 J Fahrbring (Swe) 74 78, C Blomstrand (Swe) 76 76,
153 A Bland (Aus) 80 73,
154 J Geary (Nzl) 80 74,
155 P Widegren (Swe) 75 80,
156 D Fichardt (RSA) 79 77,
160 G Storm (Eng) 77 83, S Troup (Sco) 77 83,
163 A Al Rumhy (am) (Oma) 80 83,
172 N Yaqoob (am) (Brn) 85 87,
** D Brooks (Eng) RT 0,

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