Marcel Siem came in late with a second straight 68 in the French Open second round on Friday to take a one-shot lead into the weekend.
The 31-year-old German bounced back from a double-bogey six at the 17th, his eighth hole, with four birdies down the front nine, putting him into contention for a second European Tour win eight years after he took the Dunhill Championship in South Africa.
Siem leads at Le Golf National outside Versailles on six-under-par 136, one stroke clear of Sweden’s Alexander Noren, who bogeyed the 18th, his last, but still had a 67 for the low round of the day.
Tied at four-under were Anders Hansen of Denmark and George Coetzee of South Africa, both carding 68s.
Three were tied on 139 — England’s David Lynn (72), Francesco Molinari of Italy (68) and top home hope Raphael Jacquelin (71).
Siem’s round was sandwiched around a 90-minute suspension of play due to a thunderstorm that in the end he said proved to be provident for him.
“I had just made double bogey before that. Then on 18, would have been my first shot after the lightning. I was a bit steamy there, and actually it was good for me I reckon that we got called off the course,” he said.
“It was nearly flat calm in the end. On the last four holes, there was a little breeze off the left, half a club of wind. It was very comfortable and nice to play and I’m really happy that I made something out of it,” he added.
Hansen had set the early pace, benefiting from the ideal early playing conditions.
The highlight of his round was three birdies in the tough four-hole closing stretch at the Albatross course, the host venue for the 2018 Ryder Cup. Most players would happily settle for level par for those.
Following a career-best third place finish at the USPGA last August, Hansen has had a torrid time of it this year with his swing unraveling mixed in with personal problems meaning that he has played a curtailed schedule.