Argentine Daniel Vancsik stormed into the lead in the Challenge Provincia di Varese with a second consecutive five under par 65.
That score, which featured six birdies and a bogey, took him to ten under par for the tournament, two shots clear of Italian Alessandro Tadini, who has played at Golf Club Varese in northern Italy since he was a young child.
Tadini also had one bogey in a four under par 66, and the pair set the benchmark for the afternoon starters, who include overnight leader Raymond Russell of Scotland, who fired a 63 in the first round.
Vancsik said: “For 11 holes I played very well. I made a few putts and I was hitting my approaches close to the pin. But on the 12th I made a mistake and dropped a shot, and for the last six holes it felt like I was fighting the course. I lost my concentration a bit, which is the reason my score is not lower.
“The last few weeks I’ve been playing much better. The problem is that when I miss one shot it usually ends up in a double bogey. But this week if I’ve missed a shot I’ve managed to save par or at the worst make a bogey – I’ve had three in two rounds. That’s the difference.
“I’ve been working very hard with my coach for the last two weeks, working on not just my swing but on my focus, concentration and patience. On the Challenge Tour you have to be very patient. There have been times when I’ve been in a good position and thought about winning, and then everything has gone wrong. I’m trying hard to take it shot by shot and not think too far ahead.”
Tadini is another player trying not to get ahead of himself, but he admits it is a battle to quell the excitement of his army of supporters who are cheering him on on home turf.
He said: “I know the course very well because I’ve grown up playing here all my life. I know where the good places are to hit the ball and where not to hit it. I am very familiar with the greens too, so if my putting is good I know I will hole many putts.
“It would be fantastic to win here. I have many, many family and friends here this week so it is very special already to be playing a Challenge Tour event in my town. But to win the title would be a dream come true. Everyone wants me to do it but I’m trying not to think about it too much because it will be very hard and I’ll have to continue playing very well.”