Jordan L Smith carded two eagles on his final two holes to take the outright lead after the second round of the Kazakhstan Open at Zhailjau Golf Resort.
The Englishman started his day on the tenth tee and made the turn in 34, two under par for the round.
Smith, second in the Road to Oman Rankings, started his back nine with a birdie on the first hole, but bogeyed the par four fifth hole. Sitting three shots behind the leaders, he then eagled both the eighth and ninth holes to surge up the leaderboard ahead of Steven Brown, Romain Langasque and Ricardo Santos.
“This may sound ridiculous, but I didn’t hit the ball as well as I did yesterday,” said Smith. “But I still hit it well and I’m happy with how I played.
“My eagles weren’t too bad at all. I pitched in from 44 yards on eight, and shot driver, eight iron into nine and holed a 16-footer. It sounds easy, but it really wasn’t.
“Having that lead gives you a bit of leeway going into the third round. Being in the final group always helps and I’m going to approach tomorrow’s round the same way as I approached the first two days.”
Langasque found similar joy on the front nine as he closed his round with an eagle and two birdies on his last four holes.
The Frenchman, who sits third in the Road to Oman Rankings, is in search of a maiden European Challenge Tour title after three runner-up finishes so far this season.
“I played well all day, I know my game is really good and I found my rhythm, which is great,” said Langasque.
“I’m in position again. I know what I have to do and know what not to do. I will take my chance this time. When you’re in position and you miss your opportunity you learn from it. Sometimes you win, sometimes you learn, and I’ve learned a lot this year.
“Hopefully I will win this time. I just want to continue focussing on making good shots and good decisions all the time.”
Santos carded a four under par round of 68 to remain in contention after the second round and the Vilamoura-man credited solid play for his position.
“I was solid out there today,” he said. “I didn’t putt as well as I did yesterday but it was still a good round.
“I’m confident ahead of tomorrow and if I keep playing like this, I think I’ll have a chance.”
Tied for fifth place are Cyril Bouniol and Garrick Porteous on nine under par and a shot further back are seven golfers on seven under par.