Englishman Richard Mansell (9/2 outright) has put himself in the driving seat for a first DP World Tour event win at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship, carding a four-under-par second round to lead by two shots, as overnight leader Romain Langasque fell away.

The Frenchman shot a course record-equalling 61 at the Old Course at St Andrews to lead by a stroke at the end of Thursday’s play, but a dramatic change in fortunes saw him post an eight-over-par 80, to slip back to joint-19th.

Langasque’s struggles came to the benefit of Mansell, who hit Friday’s best figures of 68 despite inclement Scottish weather that forced an 8:30am start. The 27-year-old, who last week missed the cut at the Open de France, sits two shots clear of Alex Noren on ten under.

Sweden’s Noren (15/4 outright) was hot on the heels of the leader, improving an impressive five-under record from the opening day by three strokes.

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Italian Open champion and home favourite Robert MacIntyre also performed well at a wet Kingsbairns, forcing his way into fifth, four shots behind the lead, after a round of two-under-par.

Completing the top of the leaderboard in a tie for third are Frenchman Antoine Rozner and Niklas Moller of Denmark, who both shot 74 to drop back to seven-under.

Coming into Friday on the back of a respectable round of 68, Rory McIlroy had a forgettable second day, finishing three-over par to drop back to one-under overall, tying for 43rd place.

The unrelenting rain caused many of the players to think on their feet.

“It’s just brutal,” said four-time European Tour event-winner Matt Wallace, who finished two-over-par. “I’ve changed jacket, I’ve just bought two more towels from the pro shop.”

But some proved less affected than others, with Englishman Eddie Pepperell providing one for the highlight reel with a hole in one on the 168-yard par-three eighth hole.

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