Rhys in front after best-ever 64

Rhys Davies has captured the halfway lead at the Hassan Trophy with the lowest round of his European Tour career.

Welshman Rhys Davies fired the lowest round of his European Tour career to take the halfway lead after Friday’s second round of the Hassan Trophy II in Morocco.
The 24-year-old, a team-mate of Rory McIlroy at the 2007 Walker Cup and third in the Malaysian Open two weeks ago, added an eight-under-par 64 to his opening 68.
At 13 under, Davies goes into the weekend two in front of former Ryder Cup team-mates Thomas Levet and Ignacio Garrido and South African Louis Oosthuizen.
First round leader Nick Dougherty, who like Davies switched from the Red course at Royal Dar Es Salam to the shorter and easier Blue, scored three shots worse and dropped to joint fifth place on 10 under.
While McIlroy was an instant hit in the paid ranks – he secured a Tour card in a mere three starts – Davies failed on his first two trips to the qualifying school.
“This time last year I didn’t really have any status in Europe but I managed to get a win on the Challenge Tour and everything sort of spiralled from there,” the Bridgend player said.
“It’s been really good the last 12 months. I am feeling very confident. You play golf to play well and to get to the top of the leaderboard.
“I think if you don’t enjoy it at the top you wouldn’t really want to do it.”
As for his eight-birdie round, Davies added: “It went great. I rolled some really good putts in and overall it was a good day’s work.”
Oosthuizen matched his 64, while Frenchman Levet returned a 65 and Spaniard Garrido a 67.
Dougherty said: “I didn’t play great. The Blue course is quite a bit easier and I didn’t capitalise on it, but three under is not too bad and I’m still in contention.
“I’ve not put two good rounds together in a long while and I’m proud of my performance.”
Dougherty had a hat-trick of birdies from the 15th and was four under for the round with seven to go, but played them in one over.
Paul McGinley missed the cut in his first tournament since a sixth knee operation last November.