Ross McGowan (Getty Images)
England’s Ross McGowan was holding firm at the top of the leaderboard as the second round of the Bankia Madrid Masters began in the Spanish capital.
After a brilliant opening 64 the 29 year old Englishman held a one shot overnight lead over Australian Brett Rumford, Spain’s Gonzalo Fernandez-Castaño and Italy’s Lorenzo Gagli.
Having endured a difficult season because of injury, the 2009 winner McGowan was less explosive when his second round started, carding three birdies and two bogeys in his first 11 holes.
At nine under he was one clear of Rumford, who was one under for the day through 12, with Gagli level par through four holes and tournament host Fernandez-Castaño two over for the day at the turn.
Making a charge up the leaderboard were Italian Ryder Cup star Francesco Molinari and England’s Lee Slattery, who both advanced to seven under.
Molinari’s brother Edoardo was the best placed of the afternoon starters having carded a six under 66 on Thursday morning.
There was an unusual bonus for Scotland’s Elliott Saltman – his hole-in-one at the par three third earning him his bodyweight in ham.