The French takeover of the Aa 4th Open de St Omer edged closer to total domination after round two after a bouquet of local heroes made their way on to the leaderboard. Pascal Edmond, a 28-years-old from Paris slashed 10 shots of his opening 74 when he threaded his way through this challenging, hilly course in a record 64 for an eight under par total of 138 to move into third place behind countrymen Franck Aumonier and Nicolas Joakimides.
Edmond, currently ranked 22nd in France, simply exploded off the first tee to conjure up eight birdies, one eagle and a single bogey to remind spectators he was indeed human. After eight attempts to qualify for the European Tour and a less than rewarding three seasons on the Challenge Tour this was the round of Edmond's life as he sets his sights on a first prize worth 160,000FF (£15,000 approx).
And with first day leader Aumonier and fellow countryman Nicolas Joakimides continuing to lead the way, the French are putting up an impressive barricade against the other players massed at St Omer, half an hour south of Calais.
Scotland's Graham Rankin and Sunningdale's James Healey on six under par are in position to threaten seriously this Gallic platoon with 36 holes left on a course that is being buffeted by wind and sun so that greens that started life this week as medium pace are turning into pacey monsters.
Rankin, a veteran amateur until turning pro last year at 34 years of age, added a two under par 71 to his opening 69 - Healey had a 67- and thus remain within striking distance of the leaders.
"I felt my first round score should have been several shots better if I'd putted anything like and it was the same story today. I started off very tentatively but then began to play better. It's reassuring to feel I've not performed that well yet but I'm still in there with a real chance," said Rankin.
With the halfway cut set at one over par, 66 players make it through to the weekend.