Cormac Sharvin shot a blistering six-under par 65 to burst into contention at the halfway stage of the D+D REAL Czech Challenge.
The Ardglass professional put up six birdies in a blemish-free display to move to a tie for 11th at minus-five with 36-holes to play after a superb day’s work.
There was double joy for Ireland as Tramore’s Robin Dawson made the cut on the number at even par.
The towering Portmarnock Links pro fired three birdies in a clutch one-under par 70 to make his second Challenge Tour weekend in succession, with the 23-year old earning 36 more holes to make his move up the leaderboard.
The cut mark brought about Irish casualties too, however, as The Island’s Paul McBride 73/71 and Rosapenna’s Ruaidhri McGee 71/73 both fell two short of the mark after finishing at plus-two.
While Naas pro, Conor O’Rourke was unable to recover from an opening 76 as he added a 73 to miss out at plus-seven.
At the top, Ross McGowan holds a two-shot lead at the halfway stage in the Czech Republic after he holed a 30-foot eagle putt on his final hole.
McGowan, who shared the overnight lead with Robin Roussel on five-under par, signed for a consecutive round of 66 to move two strokes ahead of the Frenchman at the end of the second round at Kaskáda Golf Resort.
The two-time European Challenge Tour winner started the day with three birdies in his opening six hole and bounced back following a bogey on the 17th – his eighth hole – with a birdie on the 18th. He started his back nine with a further gain, but a frustrating run of holes saw him drop a shot on the fifth to join Roussel, who led in the clubhouse, on eight under par.
After an errand tee shot on his final hole, McGowan produced two of the shots of the day, finding the green from 210 yards from the bunker, before sinking an eagle putt to take the outright lead at the halfway stage in Brno.
“I had a horrible lie in the bunker and managed to squeeze-cut a five wood onto the green and dropped a long one from 30 foot,” he said.
“I’ve put two rounds together, so that’s the first positive I’ll take into the weekend. Usually it’s one good and one bad round, so it’s nice to put two good scores together. I didn’t play my best on the back nine but hopefully I’ll sort that out before teeing off tomorrow.
“The bogey on 17 was annoying. I had a horrible lie off the fairway, but it came out a lot better than I thought. I knocked a wedge into ten foot on the 18th to set up the birdie. Then on one, I hit a five wood into 40 foot, and it was a good two putt for birdie.”
Roussel followed up his opening round of 66 with a three-under par round of 68 to sit two shots behind McGowan, as he goes in search for his maiden Challenge Tour title.
Rasmus Højgaard of Denmark, who continues to impress during his debut Challenge Tour season, carded a round of 66 to move three shots off the lead. While a group of seven players sit a further stroke behind on six under par. Four players from Czech Republic; Petr Gal, Stanislav Matus, Filip Mruzek and Michal Pospisil made the cut with Mruzek leading the home charge on two-under par.
The third round will begin at 7.40am local time.
Full Scoring HERE