Victor Perez will take a one-stroke lead into the weekend at the Saudi International powered by SoftBank Investment Advisers after he carded a second consecutive round of 65 to sit atop the leaderboard on 10-under-par.

The Frenchman leads ahead of Malaysia’s Gavin Green, who followed his opening 64 with a 67 today to get to 9-under-par while Graeme McDowell carded a 68 to lie in third place on 8-under-par.

Italy’s Renato Paratore bettered his opening 68 by three strokes to get to 7-under-par and sit three shots off the lead.

“I’m very happy with that second round, obviously after the first I’m trying to keep the hammer down,” said Perez, who won last year’s Alfred Dunhill Links Championship at St Andrews. “I played really well in the wind yesterday to shoot 65 and today was the day when I needed to try and shoot another low number in the best of the morning conditions and move into a good position for tomorrow – and I did that.”

Henrik Stenson in action during the second round of the Saudi International. The Swede already has wins at the Qatar Masters, Dubai Desert Classic and the DP World Tour Championship so is no stranger to the winner’s circle in the Middle East.

Jazz Janewattananond, Victor Dubsuisson and Ross Fisher all climbed to 6-under- to share fifth place while defending champion Dustin Johnson carded a 67 yesterday and added a 68 today to move inside the top ten at 5-under-par alongside Henrik Stenson, Marcus Kinhult and Francesco Laporta.

Johnson’s American compatriot Phil Mickelson followed his 66 with a 70 to sit in a group of players on 4-under-par while the biggest move of the day came from two-time Major champion Martin Kaymer has he moved up 76 places after following a 73 with a 6-under-par 64.


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