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Smith stays ahead

The 29-year-old picked up his second birdie of the day at the fifth courtesy of a six-foot putt before parring his way to
the turn.

Jordan Smith finished his second round with a flourish to remain on top of the 2022 Portugal Masters leaderboard at the halfway stage, with Gavin Green joining him at the summit after another day of low scoring in Vilamoura.

Englishman Smith started the day with a one-shot lead following Thursday’s sparkling 62 but found himself trailing Green with two holes left to play on Friday, having mixed four birdies with two bogeys in his first 16 holes.

However, Smith got up and down for a birdie on the long 17th before holing his 21-foot putt from the rough around the 18th green to pick up another shot, sign for a second-round 67 and join Green in the clubhouse on 13 under par.

Malaysia’s Green, who began his round ten minutes before Smith on Friday morning, made seven birdies and a single bogey in his 65.

Finn Tapio Pulkkanen and Frenchman Benjamin Hebert were one shot back in a tie for third after they both followed up opening 66s with matching 64s to remain bogey-free after 36 holes at Dom Pedro Victoria Golf Course.

Hebert started the week 179th on the DP World Tour Rankings in Partnership with Rolex, knowing he needed to do something special to keep his playing privileges, and he has put himself in a decent position to contend for the title over the weekend.

Smith came close to holing his approach shot for an eagle at the par-four second but had to settle for a tap-in birdie there before giving the shot straight back on the third.

The 29-year-old picked up his second birdie of the day at the fifth courtesy of a six-foot putt before parring his way to the turn.

He began the back nine with birdies from inside five feet at the tenth and 12th but dropped another shot on the 14th after failing to find the green in two.

europeantour.com

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