Jordan Smith shot another low score to reach 13 under par and take the halfway lead at the Red Sea Egyptian Challenge presented by Hassan Allam Properties on the European Challenge Tour.
The Englishman, who shot a nine under par 63 to top the leaderboard after the first round, kept his cool in scorching conditions to maintain the top spot after 36 holes at Sokhna Golf Club.
The 23 year old, who won twice on the Euro Pro Tour to top the Order of Merit and qualify for the 2016 Road to Oman, picked up five birdies while dropping only one shot to sign for a second round of 68.
Smith, who represented England as an amateur, goes into the weekend two shots ahead of Germany’s Philipp Mejow who clinched second place on 11 under par.
“I was very solid today,” he said. “It was always going to be hard to keep up what I did yesterday but I am very happy.
“I hit a lot of fairways and a lot of greens but I wasn’t quite close enough to the pins and didn’t quite hole as many putts as I did yesterday.
“I tried to play the same sort of aggressive style as I did in my first round but there were still a lot of pins tucked away. So my thinking today was more about damage limitation and to go more central to the middle of the greens and leave myself slightly easier putts.
“Winning twice on the Euro Pro Tour has given me confidence that I can go on and win. I am also used to leading from the front and will look to keep it going over the weekend.
“I will just try to do more of the same, keep on doing what I am doing well as I am very happy with how my game is so will keep going.”
William Harrold made a hole-in-one on the 197 yard par three ninth
Hot on the heels of Smith is Mejow – who won in Ain Sokhna and topped the Order of Merit on the Pro Golf Tour last season.
“It absolutely helped today that I have won here before,” he said. “I have good memories from last year so I know how to go low on the course and that let me shoot a good round today.
“I didn’t have a target in mind and wasn’t really thinking about my score, I just trained a lot in the past few weeks and tried to bring it on the course and do my own thing.
“I’m not going to do anything differently in the final two rounds. It’s worked out quite well so far and if I do two more rounds like today I think there’s a good chance there for me.”
Former Challenge Tour Rankings winner Espen Kofstad continued his good form in Egypt to reach third place on nine under par.
Damian Ulrich carded a nine under par 63 for the best round of the day, while England’s William Harrold shot a hole-in-one on the 197 yard par three ninth to make four under par – one above the cut line.