England’s Paul Waring and South African Hennie Otto inspired each other to claim a share of the lead with David Lynn after the second round of the Portugal Masters in Vilamoura.
Playing in the same group, Waring and Otto recorded 14 birdies and one eagle between them to each finish 12-under at the Oceanico Victoria Golf Course, Waring returning a flawless 63 and Otto a 64.
Lynn, still struggling with the virus which affected him during last week’s Seve Trophy, had shared the overnight lead on six-under and late in the day carded his second consecutive 65 with four birdies and an eagle from just six feet on the par-five 12th.
Waring, who enjoyed the first top-five finish of his European Tour career in the Spanish Open in April and has had three more top-10s since, said: “I think the lovely weather’s had a bit of a hand in it. I played nice, kept control of my golf ball well, hit it close a few times and holed a few putts.
“I’ve been playing better for the last few months; I lost by one in Valencia, two in Gleneagles, been knocking on the door a few times so it’s nice to keep myself in contention week on week.”
Austria’s Bernd Wiesberger completed a 65 to lie one shot off the lead on 11 under alongside Scotland’s Chris Doak, who had five birdies and an eagle in his flawless 64 and is yet to drop a shot this week.
South African Justin Walters was a further shot back after a 63 and although he needs a good finish to climb from 126th on the money list, the 32-year-old from Johannesburg has had that situation put into perspective recently.
“We had a family crisis this year, two weeks ago my mum passed away and with her she really took all the pressure,” said Walters. “I haven’t really worried like I have as much and I think my game is in much better shape because of that.”
Sheffield’s Danny Willett is handily placed for a weekend challenge after adding a 67 to Thursday’s 69.
Willett had six birdies to leave him six shots off the lead.
Richard Finch made little in-roads into the deficit he left himself with on day one and missed the cut.
His round of 71 means he now needs at least a top-five finish at the Perth International next week to finish in the top 110 on the Race to Dubai standings and retain his card.
Simon Dyson also misses out after a second-round of 72.