World No 1 Dustin Johnson moved within two of the lead before play was suspended due to fading light at the Saudi International; Ryan Fox and Stephen Gallacher top the leaderboard heading into the weekend
By Ali Stafford
Last Updated: 05/02/21 4:15pm
Ryan Fox and Stephen Gallacher hold a share of the lead heading into the weekend at the Saudi International, with world No 1 Dustin Johnson part of the chasing pack.
Fox carded a second successive 65 to set the clubhouse target at Royal Greens G&GC, where a two-hour delay due to the threat of lightning left the later starters unable to complete their rounds.
Gallacher is two under for his round with six holes to play and alongside Fox on 10 under, while Johnson is two off the pace with four holes of his second round remaining and one of four players in tied-third.
Tommy Fleetwood is three shots back despite finishing his second-round 65 with a bogey at the par-five last, with Justin Rose and overnight leader David Horsey also on seven under with three and six holes left respectively to finish on Saturday morning.
Beginning on the back nine, Fox rolled in from 10 feet at the 11th and holed birdie putts from a similar distance at the 14th and 16th to reach the turn in 33, with the New Zealander then picking up a shot at the second and nudging in from close range at the fourth.
Fox drained a 20-footer at the eighth to briefly grab the solo lead but bogeyed his final hole after pulling his approach in the rough, dropping him back to 10 under, with Gallacher also on that number after bouncing back from a bogey at the second to three of his next six holes.
Johnson made his move up the leaderboard by nailing a 35-footer at the second and taking advantage of the par-five fourth, with the Masters champion adding another at the seventh and posting back-to-back gains under fading light from the 13th to go five under for his round.
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Andy Sullivan birdied three of his last four holes to close a four-under 66 to jump within two of the lead, with Bernd Wiesberger also two back after a two-under 68 and Marcus Kinhult completing the quartet on eight under with two holes still to play.
Fleetwood holed from 25 feet at the second for the first of three consecutive birdies and added further gains at the 10th and 14th, before rolling from six feet at the par-three 16th to get to eight under.
The Englishman hit his approach into water at the par-five last to drop back to seven under alongside Rose, who followed three birdies in a row from the second by holing from off the eighth green using a three-wood and then cancelled out a bogey at the 10th with a tap-in birdie at the 14th.
Horsey was unable to replicate his opening-round 61 and slipped three behind after playing his first 12 holes in two over, with Viktor Hovland the highest-ranked of the morning starters and four off the lead after a bogey-free 66.
Phil Mickelson is five behind after a three-under 67, with Bryson DeChambeau is a further shot back with four holes of his second round to finish when play was suspended just before 6.15pm local time (3.15pm GMT).
Players will return at 7.30am (4.30am GMT) on Saturday to complete their second rounds, with a two-tee start then in operation for the third round.
Watch the Saudi International throughout the weekend live on Sky Sports. Live coverage continues on Saturday from 9.30am on Sky Sports Golf.