Terry Pilkadaris used all of his experience at Delhi Golf Club to shoot a brilliant 64 and take the halfway lead at the Hero Indian Open.
The Australian is a veteran of 128 European Tour events but has also played over 100 times on the Asian Tour and has tackled the narrow tree-lined layout in New Delhi on many occasions.
He made all that experience count on Friday as he recorded nine birdies with a single bogey on the last in an eight under par round that was the lowest at this event since it became part of The European Tour International Schedule last year.
Pilkadaris, who finished in a tie for second at the Made in Denmark last season but is still seeking his first European Tour win, feels comfortable in India and moved himself to a 13 under par total, three shots clear of SSP Chawrasia and Nacho Elvira.
"I've played about 40 rounds at least," he said. "We play in different times of the year here so the course plays differently every time we are here but it is just a matter of adapting.
It was good. I felt really good out there and I kept going at flags. Everything was feeling good and I kept going at them - Terry Pilkadaris
"I kept giving myself chances and it was nice to take advantage of them. You've got to roll with it and try to step out of the way and not trip over your own feet. Just keep it simple.
"You've got to keep it straight. If you are on the fairway then you can give yourself chances. That's what you need to do out here."
Pilkadaris came into the day two shots off the overnight lead held by Daniel Im but birdies at the first, second and sixth followed by four in a row from the eighth catapulted him up the leaderboard.
More gains followed on the 14th and 15th, the latter coming from an impressive chip-in, before he made his only bogey of the day on the 18th after finding the trees.
Spaniard Elvira 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.
Home favourite Chawrasia is a four-time runner-up at this event and is in contention again after a 67. He turned in 34 and then made two brilliant up-and-downs from the trees for birdies on the 11th and 14th before securing another on the 16th.
Ben Evans, who finished right on the bubble at 110th in The Race to Dubai last season, was then at eight under after turning in 31 from the tenth and picking up another shot on the front nine.
American David Lipsky was also at that mark with seven birdies and two bogeys in a 67, a shot clear of Spanish duo Alejandro Cañizares and Jorge Campillo, and Indian Rashid Khan.
Dutchman Joost Luiten was seven under for his round through 14 holes but bogeyed his last three to miss the cut by a single shot at one over, while three-time Major Championship winner Padraig Harrington also finished one stroke below the cut-line.
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