Simon Hurley blitzed his way to a course record 62 but it still didn't earn him the lead at the halfway mark of the Gunther Hamburg Classics in Germany.
The 37 year old Bristolian trimmed the record by four strokes and sign for his lowest score in 15 years as a professional. It left him on 12 under par 132, but two strokes behind Sweden's Peter Hanson and one adrift of Geordie, Michael Archer.
Hanson had nine birdies in a 64, his lowest Challenge Tour return, which leaves him leading a tour event for the first time. "Leading is a nice feeling," he said. "But there is a long way to go yet."
Archer had seven birdies in a 65 for 131 and admitted; "Everything is smelling of roses at the moment. I'm just focussing on the target and forgetting about my swing. I just hope I can keep it going."
Hurley was up at 5.30am for a 7.15 start in order to complete his opening round which was halted by a storm on Thursday. There was no hint of the fireworks to come as he played the remaining nine holes of his first round in one over par for a 70, which left him in joint 43rd place.
Half an hour later he was back on the course and romping into the lead. Out in 30 with seven birdies, he had a 60 in his sights. "When I birdied the short eighth I began thinking of shooting 59," he said.
"I added further birdies at the 10th and 11th but then missed from 15 feet at the 12th and when I bogeyed the 13th, breaking 60 was out of the question."
Nevertheless, three more birdies in the closing five holes, making 12 in all, was just reward after a traumatic lead up to the tournament.
"My clubs were lost on the way back from last week's tournament in Finland and I didn't get them back until Tuesday evening," he added. "I arrived in Hamburg at 7pm on Wednesday and only managed to walk a few holes of the course."
Philip Golding came home in 31 with an eagle and three birdies to post a 64 for 133 and joint fourth place with playing partner Andrew Butterfield, who shot 66, a score which several players equalled on a day when the par was more like 69 than 72.
Swiss, Andre Bossert, was another to return 66 to move into sixth place on 134, while Peter Hedblom maintained the form that earned him victory last week in Finland with 66, which included birdies at the last four holes, for 135. “I didn’t play well and it was lucky that I ran in those birdies,” he said.
Hedblom shares seventh spot with Dutchman, Robert Jan Derksen, Klas Eriksson from Sweden, and two more Englishmen, Mark Foster and Andrew Marshall.
Derksen returned 69 with four birdies, dropping a shot at the 17th, his only bogey in two rounds. Eriksson signed for 68, while Foster had six birdies in eight holes either side of the turn in a 66.
Marshall started with a bogey-five but responded with seven birdies for a 67.
The cut came at four under par 140 with 68 players surviving for the final two rounds. Among the casualties was German hope, Wolfgang Huget, a winner already this year, and two other players currently ranked in the top 15, Jesus Maria Arruti from Spain and England’s Stuart Little.