John Murphy will head into the weekend at the Swiss Challenge inside the top-10 as he looks to boost his Road to Mallorca hopes on the Challenge Tour.
The Kinsale man wasn’t as impressive as in his first round but still carded five birdies, two bogeys and a double-bogey in a one-under 71 to move up to five-under-par, good for a share of eighth.
That leaves Murphy five shots off leader Jeong weon Ko heading into the weekend, the Frenchman signing for an eagle, five birdies and three bogeys in a 68 to reach 10-under-par.
However, a big weekend performance from Murphy would help him take a step towards the top-20 in the Order of Merit which earn their DP World Tour cards for next season, with the 24-year-old projected to move to 28th as it stands.
He needs to chase down Ko, though, who continued his recent run of excellent form by taking a one-shot lead over Denmark’s Martin Simonsen at the halfway stage at Golf Saint Apollinaire.
“It’s nice to have some company with my dad on the bag and whenever I get frustrated, I can talk things through with him and that helps me,” said Ko.
“I’ve been close to getting over the line for the past month and I know that my first win will come eventually. I’m going to keep playing my game and see where I end up.”
Gary Hurley will also play the final two rounds as he continued a rather uneventful week, one birdie, one bogey and a double-bogey leading to a 74 that dropped him back to level-par and in a share of 42nd.
A devastating bogey on the final hole cost Robin Dawson a place in the weekend as five birdies and three bogeys in a two-under 70 took him to two-over-par, one shot over the one-over cut line.
Ruaidhri McGee had a strong finish birdieing his final two holes but also coming up one shot shy, a 70 of his own also leaving him at two-over.
Tom McKibbin’s Road to Mallorca hopes have taken a hit as he missed the cut, a level-par 72 leaving him at three-over-par, while Conor Purcell had a three-under 69 in his second round but that was only good enough to get back to four-over-par.
Gavin Moynihan and David Carey both withdrew from the tournament before their second rounds began.