Van Zyl leads by 2 in Turkey; McIlroy 4 back


While his lead is no longer insurmountible, Jaco Van Zyl is still the man to beat at the Turkish Airlines Open. Here's how things stand at the halfway point in Antalya, where Van Zyl leads by two shots:

Leaderboard: Van Zyl (-14), Chris Wood (-12), Richard Bland (-12), Victor Dubuisson (-11), Fabrizio Zanotti (-11), Rory McIlroy (-10), Alexander Levy (-10), Lee Westwood (-9), Graeme McDowell (-9)

What it means: Van Zyl started the day with a three-shot advantage, and after a quick start his lead at one point ballooned to seven shots. But the South African made a pair of bogeys coming home to shoot a 3-under 69, still good enough to retain the top spot as he looks to win on the European Tour for the first time.

Round of the day: Matthew Fitzpatrick seemed out of the mix after an opening 73, but the Englishman improved by 10 shots to move from the bottom of the standings to the fringe of contention. One of the hottest players in Europe in recent weeks, Fitzpatrick had nine birdies - including four in a row on Nos. 13-16, and at 8 under he is tied for 11th, six behind Van Zyl.

Best of the rest: Dubuisson burst onto the world stage with a win at this event in 2013, and he is again in contention after an 8-under 64 in the second round. The Frenchman had four birdies on each side and took advantage of the longest holes at the Montgomerie Maxx Royal, with birdies on each of the five par-5s.

Biggest disappointment: Westwood began the day in a tie for second, but a 1-under 71 saw him fall further back in the standings. Westwood carded three birdies but also made two bogeys. He was one of only two players among the current top 20 who failed to break 70 on a day when low scores were abundant.

Main storyline heading into Saturday: Van Zyl appeared ready to take this event by the throat, and while he let a few players back in with his closing nine, he still remains the player to beat. With 13 victories in his native South Africa, Van Zyl certainly knows what it takes to win. Whether he can go wire to wire against some of the game's best, including McIlroy - who has shot a pair of 67s - remains to be seen.

Quote of the day: "Yesterday I did give myself a lot of chances...That was the difference today. Gave myself a chance again and just holed them." - Fitzpatrick