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Rasmus Hojgaard moves six shots clear at French Open

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SAINT-QUENTIN-EN-YVELINES, France — Rasmus Hojgaard moved six shots clear at the French Open after posting a 6-under 65 in the second round on Friday.

The Danish player and overnight leader had seven birdies at Le Golf National outside Paris to move to 15 under overall, with the only blemish being a bogey on the par-4 fifth hole.

“The course plays tricky, I just played very good as well today. I hit a lot of greens and gave myself some good chances,” he said. “I’m not going to change much over the next couple of days. It’s been working fine so far... go out there, be patient, see if I can limit the mistakes and make a few birdies.”

Full-field scores from the Cazoo Open de France

Frenchman Paul Barjon’s 3-under 68 moved him up from third to second. Barjon holed an eagle putt from 61 feet on the 14th hole and pleased the crowd as they stayed with him.

“It was cool to have a lot of fans, even at 7 p.m. But we have great weather and I think they liked what they saw, so it was fun to have some cheering on the last nine holes,” he said. “Having a chance to win a tournament, especially your home Open, would be lovely. That’s still the goal, to show up on Sunday on the back nine and have a chance to win.”

Yet Barjon could not stay with Hojgaard, who held a two-stroke overnight lead from Alexander Bjork of Sweden.

South African George Coetzee — a five-time DP World Tour winner — fired a 66 to push himself up to third place, one stroke behind Barjon at 8 under.

Bjork, meanwhile, could only manage a par 71 and dropped to a tie for fourth at 7 under alongside Frenchman Antoine Rozner, who had five birdies on the front nine coming in - after starting on the back nine - and carded a 66.

Bjork’s disappointing day included three bogeys overall.

The tournament was not played over the past two years due to the coronavirus pandemic.