Steven Tiley leads by three shots at the halfway stage of Le Vaudreuil Golf Challenge at Golf PGA France du Vaudreuil.
The Englishman, who finished runner-up to last year’s wire-to-wire champion Richard McEvoy, followed up his opening round of 64 with a three under par round of 68 to break away from the chasing pack at the end of day two.
Tiley has never led a European Challenge Tour event after two rounds but the 36-year-old showed why the Golf PGA France du Vaudreuil course is a favourite of his by recording a second sub-70 round for a ten under par total.
An early bogey on his second hole – the 11th – to begin the round did not phase him as he made six consecutive pars before holing a long birdie putt on the 18th. He then surged ahead after the turn, making gains on the third, fifth and seventh holes to extend his lead over the chasing pack to three strokes.
With 36 holes left to play and a debut Challenge Tour victory in sight, Tiley was pleased with his second round work at Le Vaudreuil.
“I played okay on my front nine – the back nine,” he said. “The back nine is quite tricky and it’s a lot longer than last year and the wind was swirling a little bit this morning, but I played well.
“I holed a good putt for birdie on 18 from about 30 foot to go out level par. On the first I made a really good up-and-down, then on the second I made an unbelievable par and that steadied the ship for a little bit. I made a couple of birdies coming in thanks to some good wedge shots, so overall, it’s a pleasing round.
“I think this course suits my game. I was hitting the ball relatively straight and keeping it in play, and because of that you get a lot of wedge shots, and I’m pretty useful with a wedge in my hand.
“I’ve been practising a little bit more on my strengths within my game leading up to this week and that has shown so far.
“It’s been a long time since I’ve been in contention going into the weekend, so I’m looking forward to it and I’ll see what I can do.”
Fellow overnight leader Robin Sciot-Siegrist dropped down the leaderboard after a round of 73, two over par, as a group of four players sit three shots behind Tiley. English pair Dave Coupland and Matt Ford, South Africa’s Bryce Easton and Santiago Tarrio Ben of Spain share second place on seven under par.
While Grégory Havret is one of four players a further stroke back as he leads the French charge at the seventh edition of Le Vaudreuil Golf Challenge.
The third round will begin at 7:40am local time with Tiley teeing off at 12:50pm.