Mikko Korhonen produced a big finish to sign for a flawless 67 and take a one-shot lead into the weekend at the Shot Clock Masters.
The Finn earned his stripes on the European Tour the hard way, making 12 trips to the Qualifying School - winning the Final Stage in 2014 and keeping his card in every season since.
He is still searching for a first European Tour win and if he were to do it this week he would make history as the first winner of an event where every player in the field is on the clock for every shot.
Players are penalised a stroke if they do not play their shot in the allotted time, with three-balls getting round Diamond Country Club considerably faster than the season average so far.
Korhonen birdied three of his last four holes to stay bogey-free for the week and get to nine under, one shot clear of England's Steve Webster and South African Justin Walters.
Local hero Matthias Schwab, 2016 champion Wu Ashun, veteran Spaniard Miguel Ángel Jiménez and Dane Jeppe Pape Huldahl were then two shots off the lead.
“That was pretty good but I didn't feel as good hitting the golf ball today as I did yesterday so I'm very happy with the score,” said Korhonen.
“I'm sticking to my game plan, hitting a lot of fairways. I'm hitting a lot of irons off the tees here, just hitting the middle and taking it from there.
It's a bit breezier today, the greens are getting harder, the fairways are getting harder, it's a bit tougher. I just need to stick to what I've been doing and hopefully that gets me there.”
Jiménez looked set to be the man to lead into days three and four when he got to ten under early in the morning but he dropped three shots in his final three holes to allow first Webster and then Walters and Korhonen past him.
Korhonen birdied the second and seventh but then parred his next seven holes before really coming to life.
He got up and down well from the sand for a birdie on the 15th, repeated the trick from near a television tower on the next and then holed a 15-footer on the 17th to hit the front on his own.
Webster had set the target in the morning, making birdies on the first, eighth and ninth - after a stunning approach - to turn in 33.
He bogeyed the tenth but hit back with a birdie before holing a 25-footer on the 14th and making an excellent up-and-down from the rough on the 16th.
Walters was three under after ten holes but bogeyed the second before holing a remarkable long putt from off the fourth green for an eagle and a second consecutive 68.
Jiménez bogeyed the 13th but then birdied five of his next six before dropping a shot on the fourth. Further gains on the fifth and sixth moved him into a four-shot lead but he bogeyed the seventh after finding water and surendered a double on the ninth after losing his ball off the tee.
Huldahl birdied the second and when he holed a seven-iron for eagle at the par four next and birdied the sixth from 15 feet, he was just one off the lead. A bogey-bogey finish to the back nine then stalled his progress before he birdied the 15th.
Schwab is the highest-ranked Austrian in the field and he delighted the home crowds with birdies on the first, third and fourth in a fast start. Another gain came on the 12th but he dropped his first shot of the week on the 14th before getting the stroke back at the 16th.
Chinese Wu was another man to make a hot start with birdies on the second, third and fifth but 12 pars followed before a closing gain.
Belgian Nicolas Colsaerts, English pair Charlie Ford and Ross McGowan, Swede Oscar Lengden and Dane Jeff Winther were four shots off the lead.