Welshman Sion Bebb stormed to the top of the leaderboard at the Fred Olsen Challenge de España with a stunning eight under par 63 in the second round.
An eagle and six birdies on day two gave him the clubhouse lead at 11 under 131 at Tecina Golf in the Canary Islands, with Englishman Richard McEvoy five shots behind at six under after a five under par 66 in the second round.
Bebb has been in fine form of late, finishing in the top 15 in five of his last six events – three of which were top tens – to break into the top 20 on the Challenge Tour Rankings. His only other Challenge Tour victory was more than three years ago, at the Ryder Cup Wales Challenge.
“I had no dropped shots today which was nice. It’s always good to have a bogey-free round,” said Bebb. “I played nicely, as I did yesterday too, although it was disappointing to drop a couple of shots on the back nine yesterday.
“The eagle at the seventh was the highlight today. I hit a driver and then a four iron to about 30 feet and holed the putt. I was just trying to get it close but it was nice to see it drop in. I putted well overall, and another highlight was my tee shot on the 11th when I hit a seven iron to within about a foot.
“I’m looking forward to the weekend but I’m sure by the time we tee off tomorrow my lead will have been cut. But I can’t worry about that and I’m looking forward to a nice afternoon relaxing beside the pool. It’s lovely here and the place has a real holiday feel to it and I think I’ve taken that onto the golf course – just being relaxed and enjoying it.”
McEvoy, in the first group of the day, had earlier stormed into contention and is delighted with the way he is playing.
“It was good today,” he said. “I’ve been playing really solid since Saint Omer (the SAINT-OMER Open presented by Neuflize OBC) and my game’s in really good shape. I’m feeling very confident about my game and it’s nice to shoot a good score and get myself in contention for the weekend.
“My confidence is sky high and that gives you a bit extra. I’m going into every tournament thinking I can win it which is a great feeling to have. The round today was just very steady. I didn’t do anything special, just hit it close and holed the putts.
“We were the first group out which worked in our favour because we had the best of the greens. They are very soft and yesterday they were getting a bit bumpy but today they were a lot better so it helped.”
McEvoy’s compatriot Chris Gane was also at six under after scores of 66 and 70.