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Four Set Pace in Turkish Airlines Open
Henrik Stenson, Ian Poulter, Victor Dubuisson and Justin Walters share the halfway lead in the Turkish Airlines Open. The European Tour event is taking place at Montgomerie Maxx Royal in Antalya, Turkey.
Many players had to finish their first rounds Friday morning after heavy rains washed out play Thursday. Once the first 36 holes were complete, Stenson - who's carded rounds of 8-under 64 and 68, Poulter (two 66s), Dubuisson (67, 65) and Walters (two 66s) made their way to the top of the leaderboard at 12-under 132.
One stroke off the pace is No. 1-ranked Tiger Woods, who opened with a 70 but fired the tournament's low number so far, a 9-under 63, in the second round.
Stenson is the leader in the Race to Dubai, the European Tour's money list. Graeme McDowell is in second, followed by Justin Rose and Poulter. McDowell has posted two 70s and Rose a 70 and 66. McDowell is not in the field this week.
After all pars on the front nine, Stenson got rolling on the home half with four birdies. He hopes more of those are coming over the weekend.
"I'm trying my hardest," Stenson said about his winning the Race to Dubai, a title that will be decided in next week's season finale, the DP World Tour Championship, Dubai. "I know (Poulter) is not going to back down. He's not that kind of guy."
Poulter also went bogey-free with six birdies. "I'm very excited," the 37-year-old Englishman said of his play so far. "It's nice to play some great golf. Back end of the year, I've kind of always played well, and you know, it's going to be a fun end to the season."
Dubuisson led for much of the second round with six birdies through 13 holes. After another birdie on the 16th, the 23-year-old Frenchman dropped a shot on the par-4 before closing with a birdie on the par-5 18th.
en route to his 66.
Woods enjoyed a flawless second round, carding nine birdies and the rest pars. "I played a little better certainly this afternoon and made some putts, so that was fine," said Woods, who's been battling a cold this week. "It was a round that could have been really special. But I am right there, and I am only one back."
Woods said he almost missed warming up for the restart of his first round (in which he needed to finish eight holes) as he was watching his alma mater, Stanford, beat Oregon in college football on TV.
"Unfortunately, I had to stay longer watching the game than I wanted to," he said. "It was one of those games where it looked like we [Stanford] were going up 29-7. But the next thing you know, Oregon comes back at us.
"I'm thinking I have to go warm up for this tournament. So I'm saying, 'Come on guys, can't you just run the clock out?' And they finally did."
Two strokes behind Stenson is South African Richard Sterne (69 an 65), while three back are Wales' Jamie Donaldson (68, 67) and Spaniard Alejandro Canizares (67, 68).
Sharing ninth with Rose at 136 are Lee Westwood, Julien Quesne, Thomas Bjorn, David Lynn, Paul Waring, Ross Fisher and Robert-Jan Derksen.
The only other American entered in the Turkish Airlines Open, Peter Uihlein, a regular on the European Tour, is tied for 32nd at 5-under 139 after rounds of 67 and 72.
For all the scores, visit http://www.europeantour.com/europeantour/season=2013/tournamentid=2013088/leaderboard/index.html .