Englishman Chris Lloyd was the major mover on the second day of the Apulia San Domenico Grand Final, carding a five under par 66 to move into a share of second place.
The 20 year old is 27th in the Challenge Tour Rankings and needs a big result to break into the all-important top 21 who gain promotion to The European Tour for next season. His impressive second round moved him to 12th place in the projected Rankings entering the final two days.
Lloyd said: “I know if I do the things I can do and control the things I want to control I’ll give myself a good chance come Saturday.
“Both days I have started slowly and I had a couple of three-putts early on today. Then on the sixth I said to myself, ‘Why are you playing like you have something to defend’. I just relaxed a little bit then and made my first birdie at the sixth and then just went with it.
“I just wanted to go with the flow and take it day by day. I think the wind is supposed to pick up a little bit so the scoring might not be as low in the last couple of days so it’s just about being sensible and taking advantage of the par fives.
“I won’t look at the Rankings but I know where I was going into this week and the big thing is the only way is up. I shouldn’t stress about it too much because I have a job for next year whether it’s on the Challenge Tour or The European Tour. It’s in my hands.”
It was also a good day for leader Joachim B Hansen, who could win the Rankings with victory at San Domenico Golf in Italy, and Espen Kofstad, who is aiming to cement his position in the top ten of the Rankings and signed for a 66 on day two to move to joint second.
First round leaders Marco Crespi and Michael Lorenzo-Vera did not fare so well, however, carding rounds of 68 and 74 respectively to slip back. The pair are 32nd and 38th in the Rankings and need to finish in the top two to have a chance of securing a European Tour card.
Eduardo de la Riva, currently 34th, did his chances no harm with a five under par 66 on day two to move to ten under, three shots off Hansen’s lead, while Wil Besseling stayed in touch with the leaders with a 68 to go to nine under, boosting his chances of improving on his current 29th place in the Rankings.