Steven Brown and Nico Geyger will take a one shot advantage into the weekend of the D+D Real Czech Challenge after contrasting rounds carried them to the top of the leaderboard on ten under par.
After opening with a superb round of 65, Brown admitted day two was more of a grind as his swing deserted him on his front nine. But the Englishman remained patient and received his just rewards with a back nine of 33 which featured three birdies in his final four holes.
In contrast, Geyger flew out of the blocks with five unanswered birdies in an outward nine of 31 at Golf & Spa Kunetická Hora.
The Chilean was unable to able to maintain his momentum on his back nine, but a round of 66 was still good enough to give him a share of the lead for the first time in his fledgling Challenge Tour career.
Geyger said: “I drove the ball really well today, so I was in good position from the fairways and if you do that, you’re going to hit it close a few times. I really got it going early in the round and I also made a few chances on my back nine, but didn’t manage to take as many. It obviously puts me in a great position going into the weekend, and hopefully I can keep it going.
“I’m really enjoying my first season on the Challenge Tour, it’s a new experience for me and it takes a while to get used to everything, but it’s been a great education. I’m now renting an apartment in Madrid with my wife, which makes the travelling a lot easier. So I feel much more settled now, and hopefully that will start to show in my results.”
Brown is playing his second season on the Challenge Tour, following a debut campaign which yielded six top tens and a 27th place finish in the final 2014 Rankings.
After a slow start to the current campaign Brown has hit his stride since arriving in Drítec, and the 28 year old will now go in search of a maiden Challenge Tour title over the weekend after signing for a round of 69.
He said: “It wasn’t pretty on my front nine today, to be honest. I struggled to take my swing from the range onto the golf course and it was all a bit of a struggle, but I managed to hang in there and grind out a level par front nine, then things got going on my back nine.
“I hit a great shot into the first which got me under par for the day, and after that I warmed up and didn’t look back. The three birdies in four holes towards the end turned what could have been an average day into a very good one, so I’m really pleased.
“Although I didn’t play anywhere near as well as I did on the first day, I’m almost more pleased with today’s round because it could have got away from me on that front nine. Today was about staying patient and waiting for the good shots to come along, and fortunately they did later in the round.”
Brown and Geyger lead by a shot from a quartet of players which includes the 2010 Challenge Tour Rankings winner Alvaro Velasco of Spain.
Velasco has dropped just one shot in two days this week, adding a round of 67 to his opening 68 to move to nine under par alongside Finn Jaako Makitalo (66) and the English duo of James Robinson and joint overnight leader Ross McGowan, who signed for respective rounds of 69 and 70.
Further down the leaderboard, Czech amateur Michal Pospisil showcased his burgeoning talent with a round of 70 to make the cut on three under par.