Gary Stal (Fr) at The Els Club, Dubai earlier this year. Image Credit: Supplied

Todd Clements (Eng) burst into the lead on the second day of the Irish Challenge and will take a two-stroke advantage into the weekend on 13 under par at The K Club on the Challenge Tour.

The 25-year-old is in good form with two top tens in his last four European Challenge Tour starts, as well as a tie for 26th place at last week’s Cazoo Classic on the DP World Tour, and he is riding the crest of a wave at The K Club.

“I played great the last couple of days,” he said. “I’ve just been working on quite a few things in my game, socially, mentally, which has kind of really helped over the last couple of days. It’s turned into some good golf, so I’m delighted. There’s a lot of golf left to be played, it’s quite a packed leaderboard I’m sure, then I’ll just keep focussing on my job, doing what I can and see where we end up on Sunday.”

Tied second, two behind leader Clements on 11 under par for 36 holes are local Irish players John Murphy (Ire) and Conor Purcell (Ire).

England’s Harry Ellis is fourth on ten under par, with Italian Stefano Mazzoli, France’s Gary Stal who won the 2015 Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship at Abu Dhabi Golf club and so became an Honorary Member of Abu Dhabi Golf Club, and Scot Craig Ross sharing fifth place on five under par.

Five birdies

After Stal’s first round of 65, he followed it up with a five birdie - three bogeys 70.

Saadiyat Beach Golf Club Ambassador, Gary Hurley, stands in 10th place on seven under par after a second round of three under par 69, that contained four birdies and one bogey.

The cut fell at one under par with 67 players climbing inside the number to continue over the weekend. Clements, Purcell and Murphy will comprise the final group, teeing off at 12:00 pm local Ireland time.