Jens Dantorp fought off an injured ankle to tie the course record at Empordà Golf with a bogey-free eight under par round of 62 and claim the 36-hole lead at the Empordà Challenge.
The Swede, who won the Challenge de España last month, started with a trio of birdies before adding five more to reach eight under par and move one clear of Spaniard Manuel Elvira, who finished with back-to-back birdies to move into second place on seven under par.
The 33-year-old continued his excellent form on Spanish soil despite suffering with an ankle injury following an incident earlier in the week, which is now beginning to subside as he eyes another shot at glory.
“I was looking for one of the other guys’ ball on 18 and I took a wrong step on the kerb to the cart path and twisted my ankle on Tuesday,” he said. “I got some good treatment from the physio team here, Alvaro, so it feels a lot better now. I’m happy that he could have a look at it.
“I played solid today. My putter was really hot and it’s always nice to equal a course record.
“I did start thinking about 59 on 13 but I pushed it away straight away. I made some good birdies from there too, so I’m happy.”
The three-time Challenge Tour winner claimed his most recent title at Iberostar Real Club de Golf Novo Sancti Petri three weeks ago and has a good record in Spain, having finished seventh in the last edition of this event in 2021.
“Maybe it’s the tapas that helps me play so well in Spain,” he said. “I just love it here; the weather is really nice, I love to play in warm weather, which is very odd since I’m from Sweden, but I don’t like plaging in the cold too much.
“You just have to try and stay aggressive, create birdie chances, and roll them in. You can’t go out and try to protect anything. There are 36 holes to play and I know I have to play well to keep my lead. That’s the mentality.”
The course record which Dantorp equalled stood only for a few hours, as it was set by Irishman Ruadihri McGee, who announced his return to the Challenge Tour in style after almost two years away from the Road to Mallorca. His second round effort was 14 shots better than his first, having posted a six over par 76 on day one, and makes his first Challenge Tour cut since September 2019.
Frenchman Gary Stal and Scotland’s Euan Walker, who posted a seven under par round of 63 on day two, share third place on six under par, with Spanish duo David Borda and Alejandro del Rey and English pair Todd Clements and Marco Penge a shot further back in a share of fifth place on five under par.
The cut fell at level par on a warm day at Empordà Golf, with 60 players surviving to compete over the weekend.