French rookie Joël Stalter claimed the clubhouse lead on day two at the KLM Open and then set his sights on a first European Tour victory.
Stalter, who took the final card on last season’s Challenge Tour, followed an opening 65 with a second round 67 at The Dutch to lie ten under at the halfway stage.
That was one ahead of Thailand’s Kiradech Aphibarnrat, with German Sebastian Heisele eight under and Lee Westwood and Joakim Lagergren tied for fourth on seven under, with the latter nine holes into his second round when play was suspended for bad light.
Thursday’s afternoon session was wiped out by bad weather, meaning several players – including overnight leaders Richard Finch and Bernd Wiesberger – will have to complete their second rounds on Saturday.
Stalter carded seven birdies when he returned to the course to complete his opening round on Friday morning, with his only blemish a double bogey on the tricky 11th hole.
Having snatched the first round lead with a birdie at the last to move a shot clear of Finch, Heisele and Wiesberger, the 25 year old dropped two shots in his first three holes after a swift turnaround.
However, Stalter made six birdies in his next ten holes to overhaul Aphibarnrat late in the day.
Stalter made a promising start to his maiden European Tour campaign, making his first four cuts and finishing tied for seventh in South Africa.
The goal is to be on top of the leaderboard on Sunday - Joël Stalter
However, he made only one weekend in his following eight events and failed to capitalise on sharing the halfway lead at the BMW International Open in June, fading to finish tied 51st, and currently lies 157th on the Race to Dubai Rankings presented by Rolex.
“I played really solid – it was tough at the beginning,” said Stalter. “I gave up two shots but then I really got it back strong.
“It’s too bad because I maybe could have had a couple more birdies at the end but it was a really good round and I’m really proud of myself because it was a really long day.
“I’ve been in this situation before so I know what to expect for the weekend, but the goal is to be on top of the leaderboard on Sunday.”