Frenchman Michael Lorenzo-Vera produced a thrilling finish to seize the initiative at the top midway through day two of the Fred Olsen Challenge de España in La Gomera.
With overnight leader Martin Rominger, who shot a superb eight under par 63 on Thursday to lead by two coming into the second round, one of the later starts at Tecina Golf, Lorenzo-Vera was one of a host of players squabbling over the lead as the morning progressed on the Canary Island.
After starting the day three shots shy of Switzerland’s Rominger, former Challenge Tour Number One Lorenzo-Vera reached the turn at four under par for the day thanks to birdies at the second, third, seventh and ninth holes to go into the lead, before he dropped shots at the 13th and 15th to slip back down the field.
Lorenzo-Vera found a hat-trick of birdies to finish, however, and a second consecutive five under par 66 gave him a slender lead over Spanish compatriots Luis Claverie and Sebastian Garcia Rodriguez.
"I have been using a new putter for the last three weeks and he is my friend!" said Lorenzo-Vera. "I have been hitting the ball well. My driver was not the best but my iron shots were good and solid.
"Here you can afford to miss it from the tee and then recover it; I have missed with the driver but in the right places. I am in the process of changing my swing, a complete change like a new car!"
Claverie, a former European Tour Member and a native of nearby Tenerife, also began the day three shots behind Rominger, but made a fast start with five birdies over the front nine and a sixth of the day at the short 14th hole, negating dropped shots at the eighth and 12th and helping the 40 year old pass Rominger and move within one of Lorenzo-Vera.
Making only his third start on the Challenge Tour, Garcia Rodriguez looked to be continuing his fine form from day one when he shot a six under par 65, making a flying start in Friday’s second round with a valuable eagle at the long third following a birdie at the par four second to make it a two-way tie for second at nine under par.
A third home favourite was also going well by lunchtime in La Gomera as Eduardo De La Riva reached the turn five under par to sit two shots off the lead with nine to play.