Jens Dantorp defied heavy rain to set the pace on 14 under par at the halfway stage of the Kärnten Open presented by Mazda.
The Swede lost his playing privileges on The European Tour last year, but did his chances of securing a prompt return to the top tier no harm at all after moving to 14 under par total at Golfclub Schloss Finkenstein, in the Austrian town of Godersdörf.
Dantorp notched seven birdies but perhaps saved his best for last when, after hitting his drive on the par ninth hole into the water, he almost holed his fourth shot to set up a tap-in par.
That set the seal on a resilient round of 65 which saw Dantorp establish a three-shot lead over his compatriot Alexander Björk and Spaniard Nacho Elvira.
He said: “Although I shot a 63 yesterday, today’s round was even better because of the tough conditions. It’s always nice to back up a good round, and I definitely did that today. It helps that the greens are still rolling really nicely despite all the rain we’ve had, so that definitely makes life easier.
“I’m obviously pleased with how I’m playing, but I’m probably even more pleased with the mental side of my game. I’ve done really well to stay in my own little bubble so far this week, although that will obviously be tested if I’m leading going into the weekend. But I’m looking forward to it.”
Elvira is currently riding the crest of a wave, having captured his second Challenge Tour title in last month’s Challenge de Madrid, where he notched an albatross on the final day en route to securing victory by four shots.
Like Dantorp, Elvira is looking to bounce back to The European Tour at the first time of asking after finishing in 121st place in The 2014 Race to Dubai and, having climbed to fifth place on the back of his victory on home soil, the 28 year old is currently well placed to do just that.
Elvira raced to the turn in 31 shots to climb to the top of the leaderboard and, although he made back-to-back bogeys from the sixth hole, he battled back bravely with a closing birdie at the ninth to sign for a round of 67 and an 11 under par aggregate total.
He said: “It was pretty brutal out there at times today, but I managed to hang in so I’m very pleased. I started off with a few birdies at the beginning of my round, then struggled on my back nine but still finished with a birdie, which always makes lunch taste a lot better.
“It’s difficult to know what it’s going to take over the weekend, because it depends on the weather conditions, but if I can get to 20 under par I think I’ll have a very good chance. You’ve got to keep making birdies out there because if you don’t, you’re going to fall behind. So you have to keep on attacking, and hopefully I can do that.”
Björk opened with a bogey, but rallied with seven birdies to sign for a round of 65 which moved him into a share of second place alongside Elvira.