Eddie Pepperell holds a one-shot lead at the halfway stage of the Dubai Desert Classic after carding a second round of 67.
The Englishman followed up Thursday’s 69 with seven birdies and two bogeys to move to eight under par, a stroke clear of Dean Burmester, who was involved in a car crash on Wednesday, Bryson DeChambeau and Robert Karlsson.
Pepperell was six under through 13 holes only to see his form falter when the broadcasters started paying close attention.
“I was happy with how I was feeling early and I got off to a nice start,” said the 29-year-old.
“For the most part, it was very, very good until the cameras came along. I must have been concerned with how I was looking because then I started struggling!”
DeChambeau opened with three consecutive birdies and made three further gains at the 10th, 13th and 14th holes after a slip at the par-four sixth for the second day in a row.
A further birdie at the 17th allowed the 2019 winner to recover from another dropped shot on the par-three 15th and end the day in a tie for second.
Tommy Fleetwood is four strokes off the lead after a brilliant 65 propelled him back up the leaderboard following an opening round of 75.
— The European Tour (@EuropeanTour) January 24, 2020
Compatriot Lee Westwood also enjoyed a 10-shot swing, his four under for the day just enough for him to make the cut after a miserable opening 78 that included six bogeys.
Graeme McDowell was less fortunate, the 2010 U.S. Open champion finishing at three over after failing to recover from a double bogey at the fifth.