Crans Montana, Switzerland – France's Julien Quesne fired a 6-under 65 during his second round to vault into the lead of the European Masters, which was suspended Friday evening.
Conditions at Crans-sur-Sierre were harsh, with low temperatures and rain pelting the course. Play was suspended at 7:45 p.m. local time because of poor visibility, and the second round will be completed Saturday. Only six players did not complete play Friday.
Quesne managed to turn in a very good round in the adverse weather, moving to 9-under par 133. He holds a 1-shot lead over Englishman Danny Willett, who posted a second consecutive 67 at Crans-sur-Sierre to move to minus-8.
Paul Lawrie, last week's winner at the Johnnie Walker Championship, is third at 7-under 135. He carded a 5-under 66 on Friday.
First-round leader Gregory Bourdy stumbled to a 4-over 75 to fall into a share of 13th. But his countryman Quesne turned in a round that kept France atop the leaderboard.
Quesne started badly, with bogeys at two of his first three holes, but used a strong finish to put himself in position to contend for his second tour title of his career. He won the Open de Andalucia in March.
"My final round in Andalucia was the best of my career, because it was under a lot of pressure," said Quesne. "But today was probably my second best, because the conditions were very tough and I hardly missed a shot. So I'm very happy."
In Andalucia, Quesne birdied four of his final five holes to break away from the field and grab the victory.
He used a similar run Friday to get into the lead, but had to overcome a challenging start. He began on the back nine and bogeyed 10 and 12 to slip to 1-under par.
However, he regained those strokes quickly, with a birdie at 13 and an eagle at the par-5 15th -- where he stumbled to a double-bogey in round one. Quesne bogeyed the next hole, but ended his roller-coaster back nine with a birdie at 17, which put him at 4-under heading around the turn.
Quesne started his front nine in a calmer fashion, with four pars and a birdie. But it was his closing run of four straight birdies that gave him first place.
"I hit so many good shots," Quesne said. "I managed to stay calm and I holed a lot of putts."
A day after carding five birdies and a single bogey, Willett turned in another steady round. He made six birdies and two bogeys to head into the clubhouse at 8-under and in good position for the weekend.
Bourdy, on the other hand, plummeted down the leaderboard in the span of four holes. He was still sitting at minus-8 heading around the turn, but bogeyed Nos. 10 through 13.
He is now among 14 players sharing 13th place, and the field in front of them is tightly bunched.
A four-way tie for fourth includes David Howell (70), Tommy Fleetwood (66), Marcus Fraser (68) and Robert Coles (70), who are tied at 6-under 136.
A shot further back, at minus-5, are five players sharing eighth place -- Richie Ramsay (68), Romain Wattel (70), Felipe Aguilar (69), Jaco Van Zyl (68) and Sam Little, who completed only 15 holes Friday.
NOTES: Paul Waring withdrew Friday...The cut is projected to fall at even-par 142. Among the players who are below that line are European Ryder Cup captain Jose Maria Olazabal (74) and defending champion Thomas Bjorn (72), who both finished 36 holes at plus-4.