Dale Whitnell’s sparkling 63 earned him a one-shot lead at the halfway point of the 2022 Mallorca Golf Open and a share of the course record at Son Muntaner Golf Club.
The Englishman produced a brilliant burst of scoring on the back nine on Friday, adding an eagle and three birdies to the three shots he had picked up on the front side.
He equaled the course record set by countryman Marcus Armitage in the first round and heads into the weekend on 11 under par.
In-form Ryan Fox was in second place on ten under after making a marvelous hole-out eagle and five birdies in his bogey-free 64.
Rasmus Højgaard, Maximilian Kieffer, and Hugo Leon were two shots further back in a tie for third.
Whitnell opened his birdie account for the day at the second, rolling in from 16 feet to get to four under.
He then made back-to-back birdies on the seventh and eighth before converting his 18-foot eagle putt on the 11th green.
After sending his tee shot to 11 feet at the short 14th, Whitnell holed the birdie putt there before saving par from seven feet on the next hole.
Whitnell’s putting masterclass continued as he made further birdies at the 16th and 17th to reach the top of the leaderboard.
He said: “I played solid today, pretty stress-free, I think I effectively missed one green, and I also missed only one green yesterday too. I didn’t make as many putts yesterday as I did today, so it was nice.”
“It’s a bit softer today, the wind wasn’t as strong this morning as it was yesterday afternoon so you could be a bit more aggressive, and I think I just got a few more putts to the hole and a few dropped.”
“I was in a position where I could lose my card a month ago, then I had a 12th in Italy, a 25th in France, and a tenth in the Dunhill which secured my place for next year and now I’ve got bigger goals and aspirations for the last two events so hopefully this is just the start.”
Fox began his second round with back-to-back birdies at the tenth and 11th before picking up another shot at the 17th to turn in 33.
After starting his back nine with two successive birdies, Fox holed his approach into the par-four third from 108 yards for a stunning eagle before closing out with six straight pars.
Fox is flying high on the DP World Tour Rankings in Partnership with Rolex, sitting third in the standings ahead of this event.
Speaking about his eagle, the New Zealander said: “I had a great number, I had 100 meters on the nose, a little bit downwind.”
“The ball’s going a long way this week so it was just a full lob wedge and obviously it looked pretty good.”
“I didn’t see it go in, it was sort of hidden by that bunker, but knew it was going to be pretty good in the air and it got a nice little cheer behind the green, which was nice.”
“It was a nice little bonus on the scorecard there. I think it’s the second shot I’ve holed this year so it was nice to get one.”