Cape Town - Julian Suri fired a second consecutive round of 67 to take a two shot lead into the weekend at the Hero Indian Open.
The American was heading home on Friday night 12 months ago at DLF Golf and Country Club after posting 76-82 but he was 24 shots better off than that this time around at ten under par.
Suri is playing just his second event of the season after undergoing surgery on an abdominal hernia but showed he was in fine health in New Delhi, picking up six shots in as many holes from the first to surge clear in the morning session.
South African George Coetzee finished his round with three birdies to sit at eight under alongside Swede Robert Karlsson, who ended his day with gains on the 17th and 18th.
England's Callum Shinkwin and Australian Scott Hend were then at seven under after firing the only bogey free rounds of the week so far.
Thai 53 year old Prayad Marksaeng was at six under, a shot clear of Japan's Masahiro Kawamura and Sri Lankan N Thangaraja, with Finn Mikko Korhonen, Scot Richie Ramsay, England's Robert Rock and Austrian Matthias Schwab six shots off the lead.
There were two holes-in-one on Friday - taking the season's tally to seven - as Om Pratash Chouhan holed a six iron on the fifth and Daniel Nisbet holed a four iron on the third.
Suri was happy with his round and how his game worked out over the 18 holes.
“I put the foot down, but I had the same mindset I had really on the first nine. I hit it really well the whole day and I just tried to free it up a little bit on the second nine with my putting. I hit a lot of good shots and gave myself a ton of chances on the first nine and none of them dropped, particularly with speed and not hitting them hard enough. So, just try to free it up and putt with feel like I normally do.
Suri's aggressive approach saw him use his driver often.
“I am hitting quite a few drivers. Driver is probably the most comfortable club in the bag for me so I am being pretty aggressive and with the greens being somewhat softer than what they were last year. I am coming into the greens with a lot of wedges and pitch shots and stuff, so you can score when you are in a good spot.
“I’ve been playing well, and I knew I was playing well even though the score didn’t show it after the first nine, so just had to keep plugging away and staying patient."