Sweden’s Martin Erlandsson leads the Izki Challenge de Espana at the halfway stage after a second round of 68, four under par, took him to 12 under par 132 but his lead was cut to two strokes by Spain’s Jose Manuel Carilles who shot an impressive 65.
Erlandsson, the overnight leader after an opening 64, was first out at 7.45am and picked up five birdies in his round to maintain his position at the top of the leaderboard but the edge was taken off his round by a bogey four on the his final hole, the ninth at Izki Golf, Urturi.
“It was a pity I bogeyed the last hole,” said Erlandsson, who is chasing his first Challenge Tour title after two victories on the Telia Tour. “The green was a bit slippery because of the rain and that cost me another putt. But I am quite happy with the way I played today, the course was a lot tougher. It was not that wet when we were out but you couldn't risk missing the fairway, getting out of the rough was very difficult today.
"The key, again, was my putting, like yesterday; I am holing a lot of putts, but still long to go, we're only half way and anything can happen.”
Erlandsson looked to be well clear of the field until Carilles closed the gap with his outstanding round of 65, just one stroke outside the course record, which included eight birdies and just the one dropped shot.
“I am very happy with the round,” said Carilles. “I came here without any good feeling and was not playing well. I changed a little bit the position on the swing during the Pro-Am, I kept doing it yesterday and today and it has worked, that gave me some confidence. This course suits me, it is long, but not that long for my game. I've hit very good irons today.”
Three strokes adrift is Finalnd’s Tuomas Tuovinen who moved to seven under par after a second round of 67. “I am very pleased, everything went on right, today,” he said. “The best off my game came from the sixth to the 12th, five birdies, I was holing from everywhere. Then, after that, I did not play that well, but I finished with a birdie. The golf course looks well, is a great course and has taken very well the rain.”