Stephen Gallacher aiming to go low in Turkey shoot

Stephen Gallacher. Picture:  Mark Runnacles/Getty Images
Stephen Gallacher. Picture: Mark Runnacles/Getty Images
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Lothians star Stephen Gallacher was feeling confident he could catch a low-scoring bug in the final two rounds of the £4.6 million Turkish Airlines Open.

The Montgomerie Maxx Royal course in Belek has been brought to its knees on the opening two days of the first event of the European Tour’s Final Series.

South African Jaco Van Zyl led the scoring spree with an opening 11-under-par 61 and is still out in front after adding a second-round 69.

Others to shoot the lights out so far have included rising English star Matt Fitzpatrick with a 63 – a 10-shot improvement on his opening effort – and 2013 winner Victor Dubuisson with a 64.

“Hopefully there’s a low score out there for me, too,” said Gallacher after taking over as the leading Scot at the halfway stage with a 68 that moved him to five-under.

He was pleased with a bogey-free effort and also that he played the five par-5s in three-under compared to one-over the previous day. “It was a good round of golf,” added the 40-year-old. “I missed four or five putts inside 10 feet and also got unlucky after being left with no shot over the back of the 18th green.

“But I definitely feel as though my game is on track and I’m really looking forward to the final two rounds.”

Two ahead of Gallacher overnight, David Drysdale slipped two shots behind his compatriot after a level-par 72.

“I didn’t play very well today,” said the Cockburnspath man. “Level-par is disappointing as the course is as easy as anything.”

Morningside-based Richie Ramsay was pleased with how he played in his 72, saying he’d hit some “quality shots”.

But, sitting joint 62nd on one-over, he declared in reference to the low scoring by the likes of leader Van Zyl: “I feel as though I am getting lapped.”

Like Fitzpatrick, Marc Warren enjoyed a 10-shot improvement in the space of 24 hours as he signed for a 69.

But, following such a damaging and disappointing opening effort, the Scottish No 1 still has only four players below him in the 78-strong field.