Adrien Saddier produced a sublime seven under par 65 on day two of the Rolex Challenge Tour Grand Final supported by The R&A to take a share of the lead after 36 holes.
The Frenchman, who came into this week in 43rd position on the Road to Mallorca Rankings, is joined on five under par by England’s Matthew Baldwin, who carded a three under 69 after a bogey-free back nine as the wind started to pick up.
The high winds forecasted for the afternoon at Club de Golf Alcanada meant tee times were brought forward, with Saddier part of the first group of the day from the tenth and he took advantage of the benign early conditions with four successive birdies to start his round.
Further birdies at the 16th, fifth and seventh arrived as he banished the memories of his two over par opener to comfortably post the low round of the day without a blemish.
"It’s a really nice round," Saddier said. "I was a bit lucky because we didn’t have much wind for the first six holes so I just took advantage of that. I started really nicely and I just kept going with hitting good shots.
“I saved two good pars on the last two holes so I am really pleased. I needed a good round like this to get back into position and I’m very happy with it.
“The pressure for me is quite different because I know I need to win but I really want to be at home next week for my son’s first birthday. I don’t really care about the top 20 because I just want to be at home next week with him, so it’s a different kind of pressure.”
After setting the early target, Saddier was in the enviable position of being able to watch on as the wind hit the Alcúdia coastline and made it tough for the later groups as they came towards the end of their rounds and it was only Baldwin who was able to match him.
“It’s been quite blustery so it was nice to get out before the big winds arrived," Baldwin said.
“The gusts, they’re pumping at times, so to judge the right shot is tough but it’s tough for everyone and you’ve got to do the best you can.
“We’re only halfway so there’s still a lot to play for. I’ll try not to get ahead of myself and keep trying to do what I’ve been doing so far.”
Germany’s Nick Bachem is third on four under par, while Frenchman Jeong weon Ko posted a level par 72 to remain on three under in fourth place. Englishman John Parry also needed 72 strokes on day two to stay at two under par and complete the top five.
Road to Mallorca Number One Jeremy Freiburghaus is one of five players in a tie for sixth place and he is still projected to finish the season on top of the Rankings, while Saddier or Baldwin would earn a spot in the top 20 if they close out victory in Mallorca.