Romain Langasque stormed into the halfway lead of the Ras Al Khaimah Golf Challenge with a five-under par second round of 67 that took him to 11 under overall.
The Frenchman dropped a shot on the ninth but was otherwise flawless at Al Hamra Golf Club as he moved one shot clear of his nearest rivals and put himself in contention for a first European Challenge Tour title.
It has been an outstanding debut season in professional golf for the 21-year-old Frenchman featuring three runner-up finishes and three top fives on the Road to Oman.
More from the RAK Golf Challenge:
• Round 1: Max Orrin and Pontus Widegren lead way after opening round
• In pictures: Golfers mark inaugural RAK 2016 Golf Challenge by hitting balls off Jebel Jais
He knows a victory would be a fitting way to prepare for life on the European Tour next year. “It would be the perfect way to finish the year,” Langasque, ranked No 10, said.
“It could be very interesting, if I won this week, to have a chance next week to win the Grand Final, too.
“Let’s see what happens this week first. I’m just going to do my best and have fun.
“I just want to continue like this and stay patient. I thought too much about the win in Kazakhstan, so this week I’ll try to go shot by shot and just do my best.
“This is my first time here and we’re really lucky with this weather. The course is quite young, I think, but the design is very fun to play because you can make a lot of birdies.
“You have to be aggressive around here, which is my natural game. It suits me perfectly because I don’t have to change my style, I like that.
“It’s a really fun place to play, and I played really well. I liked the course, so that’s two really good rounds to start this event and we will now have to see how the weekend goes.”
Behind Langasque are Johan Edfors, who birdied five of his final six holes to get to 10-under par alongside Garrick Porteous and overnight co-leader Pontus Widegren.
One shot further back is a large group including Pep Angles, who made nine birdies on his way to a course record 64, and Jordan Smith, who is bidding to regain his No 1 ranking.
Alexander Knappe took the top spot for the first time last week but the German missed the cut in RAK, which fell at two-under par, with 70 players – including local favourite and amateur Rayhan Thomas – qualifying for the final 36 holes.
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