Nacho Elvira fired a seven under par second round of 65 to take a four shot halfway lead at the ROLEX Trophy, with first round leader Ryan Fox leading the chasing pack at Golf Club de Genève.
The Spaniard, who trailed by one after an opening 63, has already claimed two European Challenge Tour wins this season and a third victory this week would see him claim automatic promotion to The European Tour.
The 28 year old won the Challenge de Madrid in April and followed it up a month later with victory at the Kӓrnten Golf Open presented by Mazda (see video highlights below).
Elvira currently sits in sixth place in The Road to Oman Rankings and would love to return to The European Tour, having played on it in the 2014 season, and has enjoyed his time in Switzerland so far this week.
“Obviously it has been two great rounds,” he said. “I hit the ball really well and I’ve been putting well, I’ve put myself in the right positions, so it’s been great.
It's been a great start to a great week, we're having a lot of fun - hopefully that can continue in the next two days
“As a course it’s not that long, it’s an old course but you have to play very cautiously. I did not hit many drives from the tee, more irons or three woods because there are many doglegs and to attack the pins you have to be in position.”
“The format this week is different because you don’t see the other guys. You compete against them but don’t see them, but I like getting to meet new people and meet the members here in Geneva.
“So far it’s been a great start to a great week, we’re having a lot of fun. Hopefully that can continue in the next two days.”
If successful in claiming his third season victory Elvira would become the third player to secure promotion at the ROLEX Trophy after Benjamin Hebert and Kristoffer Broberg.
Fox remained in the hunt as he followed his opening round of 62 with a 70 to continue his impressive form since arriving in Europe earlier this summer.
The New Zealander, the son of All Black legend Grant Fox, took victory at Le Vaudreuil Golf Challenge as well as claiming three other top ten finishes and qualifying for The Open Championship.
Behind them sit five players in a tie for third place on 11 under par, the pick of them being Road to Oman Rankings leader Ricardo Gouveia, whose round of 65 – remarkably his 45th under par round in 50 this season – featured nine birdies and tied Elvira as the low round of the day.
Alongside him are Sweden’s Jens Dantorp, England’s Ryan Evans, Irishman Ruaidhri McGee and South African Haydn Porteous, with Sebastien Soderberg and José-Filipe Lima – whose first nine holes took just 29 strokes – completing the top ten two shots further back.The unusual format of the tournament sees each professional partner three amateurs in a three-day Pro-Am after day one saw two juniors playing alongside pairs of professionals, also in a Pro-Am.