The Challenge Tour graduate, who roomed with England cricketer Alastair Cook before choosing golf as a career, eagled the tenth - his first - at Porto Santo Golfe, then birdied five of his next seven to be seven under for the round after just eight holes.
That took the 25 year old from one off the pace at five under overnight to 12 under, five ahead of Ireland's Simon Thornton.
Thornton was three under through 11 holes as he climbed above the four first round leaders, all of whom were yet to resume from their overnight position of six under.
Jose-Filipe Lima, George Murray and English duo Chris Gane and Ben Evans had been joined in third place by another Englishman, Oliver Fisher, who was one under for the day through seven.
Bernd Ritthammer had a hole in one at the 220 yard seventh with his four iron tee shot finding the cup.
That brought the German back to one over for his round and two over for the week as he battled to make the cut.