Girona - Belgian Thomas Pieters carded a second 69 to take a six-under halfway lead of the Spanish Open at the PGA Catalunya Resort on Friday.
Pieters overcame three bogeys in his first four holes to finish the second round one shot ahead of overnight leader Eddie Pepperell and Joost Luiten of the Netherlands.
"I stayed really patient, I just grinded it out because it was really windy the first 10 or 11 holes. I just hung in there and made some late birdies which is nice. The wind died out on the last nine and I took advantage of that," said the 22-year-old Belgian, who turned professional last year.
"I think I'm good enough and it had to show today. I didn't think that six under after two days would be leading but it's a tough course, the rough is really high and the greens are firm enough.
"I know I'm up (there), but there's a long way to go. It's the first time I'm in first position, I'm happy to be here and excited for tomorrow. This is new for me and I just have to deal with it tomorrow. I'll try to stay calm, stay really patient... it's fun."
Leading Spanish Open second round results at the par-72 PGA Catalunya Resort course on Friday (GBR&IRL unless stated):
138 - Thomas Pieters (BEL) 69 69
139 - Joost Luiten (NED) 70 69, Eddie Pepperell 68 71
140 - Francesco Molinari (ITA) 73 67
141 - Richard Bland 73 68, Richie Ramsay 69 72, Alvaro Quiros (ESP) 74 67
142 - Paul Lawrie 70 72, Miguel Angel Jimenez (ESP) 69 73
143 - Robert Jan Derksen (NED) 69 74, Chris Wood 73 70, Alexander Noren (SWE) 71 72, Sergio Garcia (ESP) 69 74, Gareth Maybin 73 70, Richard Green (AUS) 74 69, Jordi Garcia Pinto (ESP) 70 73, Mikko Korhonen (FIN) 74 69, Darren Fichardt (RSA) 77 66