Paul McBride is in a strong position at the halfway point of the First Stage of DP World Tour Qualifying School in Bogogno, Italy.
After a five-under 67 in his first round, McBride followed it up with six birdies and two bogeys in a four-68 in his second round at Bogogno Golf Resort to reach nine-under-par.
That has him tied for eighth at the midway stage, four shots behind leader Romain Vallaeys, who backed up his stunning first round 62 with a rollercoaster three-under 69 on day two.
The 25-year-old combined an eagle, six birdies, three bogeys and a double-bogey to sit 13-under-par, one shot ahead of the Netherlands’ Floris de Haas and the USA’s Dan Erickson.
Naas’ Jonathan Yates is also in a decent position after a second consecutive three-under 69 – five birdies and two bogeys – moved him up to six-under-par and into a share of 20th.
Rowan Lester, Michael Young and Conor O’Rourke are all at three-under-par and tied for 43rd, the trio shooting rounds of 72, 70 and 69 respectively.
Mallow’s James Sugrue needs a big final two rounds if he wants to progress as he sits 80th at one-over-par, but he did give himself a chance to make it after two eagles, three birdies, two bogeys and a double-bogey in a second round 69.
Darren McHale will need an incredible final two rounds, though, as he sits 11-over-par after a level-par 72 on day two.