HERE on Turkey’s sun-kissed Turquoise Coast, Stephen Gallacher is very much in the pink. So too are the Scottish golf writers but that’s just because we’re down to the squirty dregs of the communal bottle of Ambre Solaire.

It’s not just the hitherto peely-wally scribes who are sizzling in the pleasant climes of the Turkish Airlines Open. While Gallacher barged his way into a share of fourth with a polished six-under 65 for an eight-under 134, Nicolas Colsaerts accelerated away from the field with the kind of blazing surge that threatened to leave scorch marks on the neatly manicured Regnum Carya course.

The Belgian’s seven-under 64 moved him on to a 14-under aggregate of 128 as he powered into a four-shot lead over Eddie Pepperell heading into the weekend.

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Gallacher, meanwhile, continues to make purposeful strides despite a pre-tournament mishap that left him hirpling in pain and seriously pondering the prospect of withdrawing from the event before it had even started

“I did it jumping out of a buggy coming back from the range and just went over on my ankle,” he reported. “In fact, I had my bags packed on Thursday morning. I was for the off. I wasn’t going to play.

“It’s a bad sprain. The tendons are a bit inflamed and bruised. When you get older, you get all sorts of things happening to you.”

“I woke up the next morning and it was both swollen and bruised. But Dingers [European Tour physio Ian Dingwall] strapped it. I’m strapped up like you wouldn’t believe and I’m also taking tablets. If it wasn’t for the physio, I wouldn’t be playing.”

What do they say about being wary of the injured golfer? Gallacher’s game was certainly in rude health and, for the second consecutive round, he signed for a bogey-free card.

Six birdies were scribbled down too, the pick of the bunch coming on the tough 10th where the former Ryder Cup player launched a nicely flighted 6-iron into 10 feet and trundled home the putt. “That one was brilliant because that’s a proper golf hole,” said Gallacher with a justifiable sense of self-congratulation.

As he still attempts to get to grips with, well, his new grip, Gallacher has been pleasantly surprised by the rapid progress that has been made so far this week.

“Two weeks ago I definitely didn’t think I’d be able to go around a course like this bogey-free,” he added of his more weakened right-hand grip. “All you have to do in this game really is make your bad shots better as your good ones are as good as anyone else.

“I’ve been struggling with a damaging left shot all my days. I think it’s part of growing up in Scotland and you have to keep the ball down on the links and turn it. I’ve always been fighting left and it gets to a stage where it gets worse.

“I’ve tried everything to get rid of that shot and now it’s been a case of taking the bull by the horns by weakening my right-hand grip. It feels terrible over the ball but you know that’s a good thing.

“I will probably need the whole winter for it to feel natural. I came here thinking that if I hit enough good shots to give me the encouragement to work on it over the winter, then I would have been happy. But it’s gone better than I expected.”

Colsaerts is certainly happy with the way things are going for him so far as he fortified his stronghold at the top and upped his bid for a first European Tour win since 2012.

That was the year, of course, when he announced himself to a world audience with a barnstorming Ryder Cup debut at Medinah which saw him fire eights birdies and an eagle during the opening day fourballs. Colsaerts is rattling up the gains in Turkey too this week and four birdies over his first six holes helped him on his way to back-to-back 64s.

“I had to work a little bit more for this one,” he admitted. “Day one was kind of eyes closed and everything felt like it fell in my lap. This round was more satisfying, to shoot the same score but having to go out and find it a little bit more.”

Justin Rose, the winner in China last week, is on the 137 mark after a 68 while Race to Dubai leader Tommy Fleetwood is four shots further back on 141. Sandwiched somewhere in the middle of that pair is Richie Ramsay, who is on 139 after a 68 that could’ve been a few lower. “It’s like déjà vu with the putting,” he said. “So many shaved the hole but it’s the curse of Scottish golfers.”