Seville, Spain – Gregory Bourdy fired a six-under 66 on Friday to jump into the lead after two rounds of the Open de Espana.
The Frenchman rebounded from a mediocre first round to reach five-under 139, and established a one-stroke lead over four players. Simon Dyson (69), Matteo Manassero (70), Robert Rock (72) and Jorge Campillo (72) share second place at minus-four.
Bourdy owns three European Tour victories, but has endured a tough season. While he finished in a tie for 11th at the Open de Andalucia in March, Bourdy has also missed the cut in four of seven starts.
The 30-year-old leads a tight field in which seven players are within two shots. Just behind the second-place group sit Danny Willett (73), Graeme Storm (71) and Francesco Molinari (71), who are tied for sixth at three-under.
"In that conditions it was not really easy today again, as yesterday, so I'm pretty happy," Bourdy said, referring to poor weather the tournament has endured. "I'll try to keep playing like this on the weekend."
First-round leader Shaun Micheel struggled to a five-over 77 and fell into a tie for 19th, at even-par 144.
Bourdy's 66 was quite a turnaround from his first round, which was marred by a pair of double-bogeys. But he mostly avoided that kind of big misstep Friday, and started gaining strokes from hole one.
After birdies at one and three got him under par, Bourdy bogeyed the fourth. But he birdied the following two holes to reach two-under, and stayed at that score around the turn.
Bourdy stumbled to another bogey at 11, but drained four birdies in a five- hole stretch from the 13th. That run got him to minus-five, and he parred the last.
"Today I played very, very consistent and my putting was better," Bourdy said. "It's easier when your putter is in good form, and my driving was also better than yesterday. On that course with that kind of rough -- very heavy -- it's better to get a very good driver in the bag."
All of the players in second place began their rounds on the back nine.
Manassero put together a round that was nearly free of mistakes. His only error was a bogey at 12, but the Italian rebounded with consecutive birdies. He rolled in another at the first, then made eight pars in a row to go into the clubhouse with his second consecutive 70.
Rock birdied his first, but bogeys at 17 and 18 set him around the turn at three-under. He made another birdie at four and gave that stroke back with a bogey at eight, but birdied his final hole.
The Spanish Campillo got off to a poor start, with a bogey at 10, but made three birdies during the rest of the back nine to make up for it. That progress got him to six-under, but he took a step backward with a poor front nine that included three bogeys and a birdie.
Dyson -- the highest-ranked player in the field at No. 36 -- birdied two holes on the back nine before bogeying the 18th. He made up that shot with a birdie at the first, but bogeyed four to fall back to two-under. However, the Englishman eagled his final hole to jump up the leaderboard.
NOTES: Low scores have not been common through the first two rounds. Only 18 players are below par, and the cut fell at four-over 148...While defending champion Thomas Aiken struggled to a four-over 76 Friday, putting him at plus- three, he still made the cut...Soren Hansen, Stephen Gallacher and Oliver Fisher all withdrew Friday.