Terry Pilkadaris fired a brilliant 64 to set the clubhouse target at 13 under on day two of the Hero Indian Open at Delhi Golf Club.
The Australian, searching for a first win on The European Tour and his first internationally since 2005, registered nine birdies with just a single blemish on his card at the last to open up a three-shot lead over Nacho Elvira.
Pilkadaris' best European Tour result to date came at last year's Made in Denmark as he finished in a tie for second after briefly leading on Sunday afternoon, and he spoke after that event of his disappointment at failing to get over the line.
More form like that shown on Friday morning will have him in contention once again and his eight under par 64 is the lowest round at this event since it joined The European Tour International Schedule last season.
Pilkadaris came into the day two shots off the overnight lead held by Daniel Im but he quickly wiped that out with birdies at the first and second and further gains followed on the sixth, eighth and ninth as he turned in 31.
The 42 year old made it four birdies in a row on the tenth and 11th and more gains followed on the 14th and 15th, the latter coming from an impressive chip-in.
He then found the trees at the last and had to chip out to register a bogey, but that was still enough to give him a three-shot lead over Elvira.
The Spaniard missed his first six cuts of the season but made the weekend in Thailand last week and followed an opening 66 here with birdies on the first, seventh and eighth. He dropped a shot on the 11th but made further gains on the 12th and 13th to sign for a 68.
Ben Evans, who finished right on the bubble at 110th in The Race to Dubai last season, was then on his own at eight under after turning in 31 from the tenth and picking up another shot on the front nine.
Spain's Jorge Campillo had two birdies and a bogey to sit a further shot back alongside Indian Rashid Khan, who had seven birdies in a 68.
Im was among the later starters and eagled the first but bogeys on the second and fourth left him seven under through five holes.
The French duo of Raphaël Jacquelin and Julien Quesne were then at six under alongside Brazilian Adilson da Silva and England's Chris Paisley.
Lee Slattery produced the highlight of the morning session as he holed a three wood from 261 yards on the par five eighth for his first albatross in 303 European Tour events.
"I hit a perfect three wood off the tees down to the right side and that opened up the green nicely," he said. "I had a great yardage. I had 261 yards into the wind and hit a really nice three wood.
"It never really left the pin but I didn't realise it had gone in until I started walking. The ball was resting against the pin but it eventually dropped. It is a nice feeling."
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