Crans Montana, Switzerland: France’s Julien Quesne made light of the chilly conditions by returning with a six-under-par 65 to grab the second round clubhouse lead after play was abandoned due to poor visibility at the Omega European Masters on Friday.
With rains and temperatures dipping to a low of eight degrees Celsius , Quesne battled ahead by picking up birdies in his final four holes to sign for a two-day total of nine-under-par 133.
England’s Danny Willett posted a 67 to take second place on 134 while Scotland’s Paul Lawrie is in third place on 135 at the €2.1million showpiece which is the first event in Europe to be co-sanctioned by the Asian Tour and European Tour since 2009.
Australia’s Marcus Fraser, second on the Asian Tour Order of Merit, signed for a 68 to take a share of fourth place alongside a trio of Englishmen that include Robert Coles, Tommy Fleetwood and David Howell at the Crans-sur-Sierre Golf Club.
Starting the day in tied-17th, Quesne reached the turn in 34 after marking his card with three bogeys, two birdies and an eagle.
The Frenchman then asserted himself in his homeward-nine when he went on a birdie blitz that started on the par-four second and ended with four on the trot starting from the sixth hole.
“I took a lot of pleasure from how I played today. I hit so many good shots; I managed to stay calm and I holed a lot of putts,” said Quesne.
“The conditions were very tough and I hardly missed a shot. So I'm very happy,” added the Frenchman.
Meanwhile Willett mixed six birdies against two bogeys for a second successive 67 to remain in contention for his second Tour win this season.
"All in all it was a good day. You can never complain about a 67,” said Willett.
“My all round game is there or thereabouts. I’m driving the ball really well and my distance control is very good. So if I can get a bit more consistency on the greens, I should be in for a good weekend,” added Willet.
While Fraser found it tough to assess the distance in the rain, the Australian was also content with his performance.
“The rain’s so heavy and the ball’s just not flying and it’s hard to gauge the distance. It was miserable. The rain started to come down hard quite heavily in the last four holes. I just tried to stay as warm as I could and put the jacket on,” said Fraser.
“There’s still a lot of work to do but my game’s going in the right direction. I managed to putt really well in the front-nine and holed a couple of putts on the back-nine to get the round going and that was nice,” added the Australian.
By Indian Sports News Network