Gary Hurley fired an impressive five-under 67 to make his first cut in three DP World Tour events at the Thailand Classic in Bangkok.
Hurley carded six birdies and one bogey as he moved into the top-25 on six-under-par and he will be the lone Irishman this weekend after Tom McKibbin and John Murphy missed the cut.
Needing a good start to avoid any late round battles around the cut mark, the 30-year-old opened with three birdies in four holes to move into the middle of the pack before a bogey on 5 was cancelled out by a fourth birdie of the day on 7.
The West Waterford star, who is embarking on his rookie season at Europe’s top level, added further birdies on 11 and 13 to lie in a share of 24th place and seven shy of halfway leader Rafa Cabrera Bello.
Cabrera Bello holds a two-shot lead on thirteen-under after finishing his second round with a flourish.
Four-time DP World Tour winner Cabrera Bello started brightly on Friday morning but his two early birdies at the 11th and 12th were cancelled out by a double-bogey five on the difficult 17th.
The 38-year-old staged an impressive recovery, though, firing seven birdies in his last ten holes to sign for a 65 and go into the weekend on 13 under par.
Fabrizio Zanotti is Cabrera Bello’s nearest challenger on 11 under after making an eagle, four birdies and one bogey in his 67.
Kazuki Higa, Thriston Lawrence, Alexander Knappe, Yannik Paul, Thorbjørn Olesen and Christoffer Bring were then in a six-way tie for third another shot further back, one clear of the group containing home favourite Kiradech Aphibarnrat.
Starting from the tenth tee at 07.55, Cabrera Bello made back-to-back birdies at the 11th and 12th to climb to eight under par.
But he surrendered a double bogey at the par-three 17th – Amata Spring Country Club’s signature hole, which has a floating green – to return to where he started the day.
The Spaniard bounced back in style, making a hat-trick of gains at the 18th, first and second to repair the damage.
And the Ryder Cup star kept his foot on the gas, picking up four successive birdies from the fifth courtesy of some wonderful putting.
Cabrera Bello gave himself another outside birdie chance at the ninth – his last hole of the day – but had to settle for a closing par and the clubhouse lead.
None of the later starters were able to catch Cabrera Bello, who was pleased with his response to the double bogey – his only blemish of the week so far.
He said: “The 17th is a tough hole and it was pretty windy. I got a wind gust, I didn’t hit that bad of a shot, but it is what it is.
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