Marcus Fraser recaptured the form that saw him crowned a European Challenge Tour champion in Denmark earlier this season to fire himself to the top of the leaderboard at the Talma Finnish Challenge.
The Australian supplemented his first round 67 with a six under par 66 for 11 under and is being closely followed by Englishman Richard McEvoy and South African Titch Moore, who are both lying two shots behind Fraser on nine under, 135.
Fraser, currently 13th on the Challenge Tour Rankings with just over €33,000, won the Nykredit Danish Open at the beginning of June and is looking for another high finish in Finland to guarantee his place in the top 15 of the Challenge Tour Order of Merit at the end of the season.
“I’m really happy with how I finished today,” said the 25 year old. “I birdied 17 and 18 and it always makes you feel better when you finish like that – it certainly made me forget about my two bogeys that were caused by three putting.
“Apart from those two occasions I putted well today though. I probably scored better than I played but I won’t have too many complaints about that.
“Hopefully I can keep this going for the rest of the week. It’s been a strange season for me – I won the Nykredit Danish Open, then tied tenth in the Galeria Kaufhof Pokal Challenge and was third in the Volvo Finnish but I feel as though there has been nothing to report apart from these three performances.
“But those three performances have gotten me to 13th on the Rankings and I’m hopeful that another few good finishes – starting right here in Finland – will be enough to secure a place in the final top 15 at the end of the season.”
Barry Hume from Scotland and Gregory Bourdy of France are three off the lead on eight under with six players another one shot behind.
Ivo Giner – winner of the Golf Club Padova Terme Euganee International Open last weekend – heads a group of eight players on six under par.
Meanwhile, the clubhouse at Golf Talma had two extremely popular men at the bar at the end of round two.
Frederik Henge and Sam Walker both holed in one at the par three fourth hole and will have the honour of buying each one of their thirsty colleagues a well deserved drink!
The halfway cut has been set at three under par, with 59 players making it to the weekend.