Italian Laporta climbs to Abu Dhabi while Koepka fights

A birdie bombing on the back nine helped Italian Francesco Laporta excellent nine card under 63 on Friday to take a one-shot advantage in the Abu Dhabi Championship while the world's number one Brooks Koepka He slipped through the standings after a disappointing second round.

Laporta, who shot a 71 in the first round, returned to compete for his inaugural European Circuit title with gains in the last five holes after making four in the first 11 in the Abu Dhabi Golf Club .

I gave myself many opportunities to make birdies and, when I had the opportunity, I took it. Every time I was looking for birdie, I did it. It was a great day, said Laporta, who left with less than 10 years. tournament facing the weekend, he said.

I played solid 18 holes, my puting was solid, my driver, my irons.

I feel good ... I didn't start the season well. I lost the cut in South Africa twice and this is the third event and I am leading, so I just want to enjoy the weekend.

The 29-year-old is a shot ahead of the Spaniard Rafa Cabrera Bello , who shot 68, and Englishman Matthew Fitzpatrick who signed with a ghost-free 67.

Italian Renato Paratore was a shot away in fourth place with Sergio Garcia and Li Haotong, while fellow leader overnight Shaun Norris made the cut despite a poor 77 that included seven bogeys .

Four-time senior champion Koepka, who played again after a knee injury in October, fell to 35th after a bad round of 75, while British Open champion Shane Lowry missed the cut with 74.

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