Graeme Storm carded a second round 67 to claim a share of the halfway lead in the Porsche European Open.
The Hartlepool golfer was joined at the top by Ross Fisher and former Masters champion Charl Schwartzel.
I’m really happy to shoot four under todayGraeme Storm
The 37-year-old Storm added the 67 to his opening 65 with Fisher shooting the same scores in reverse.
Schwartzel, who began the day two strokes behind overnight leaders Bernd Wiesberger and Benjamin Hebert, fired five birdies and no bogeys at Golf Resort Bad Griesbach and has dropped just one shot in the first 36 holes.
Hartlepool Golf Club member Storm’s round was also aided by a chip-in, in his case for an eagle on the 10th as the former British Amateur champion battles to keep his card for the second year running.
“I’m really happy to shoot four under today. I didn’t feel I was swinging it that great,” said Storm, who began the week 127th on the Race to Dubai.
“I got round and made a few putts and I had a chip in on the 10th for eagle, which always helps.”
After starting from the 10th and covering the back nine in 35, Schwartzel birdied four of his next eight holes but was particularly pleased to chip in for par on the second.
“I can chip, that’s not my problem, but things like that are what you need when you are going to have a good tournament and compete. It keeps the momentum going,” Schwartzel said.
“I didn’t miss any shots until that point and to be fair I didn’t hit a bad shot there either, but got a bad lie and looked like I would make bogey. Those things keep your round together.
“It’s nice to play some consistent golf. I’ve been feeling like I’m going to play well for a while, knocking on the door, but not had the momentum go my way. This time around I’ve kept it together nicely. I’ve hit lots of greens, given myself lots of opportunities and made a few putts, which helps.
“It’s a nice position to be in. It’s nice to finally play some good golf. There’s a long way to go, but if I can keep testing myself and do the same thing, hopefully it will hold up.”
BMW PGA Championship winner Byeong Hun An played his last 13 holes in seven under par to card a 65 and lie just one off the lead on nine under, alongside England’s Richard McEvoy.
But former US Open champion Graeme McDowell arguably produced the shot of the day, holing out from 100 yards on the 13th for a par after twice tangling with heavy rough.
McDowell added a 70 to his opening 68 to finish four under par, just one shot inside the cut line on another day of low scoring that nevertheless saw overnight leader Wiesberger miss the cut after a 76.
has given himself a major chance at keeping his place on golf’s European Tour,
Storm enjoyed a brilliant first day at the Porsche European Open in Germany yesterday.
shot a seven-under-par 65 at Bad Griesbach Golf Resort to be one shot off the lead after a day of low-scoring.
Storm is currently down in 127th place in the European Tour standings and needs to finish the season in the top 110 to retain his card for 2016.
With a first prize of £245,000 on offer this weekend – and good money for the other top placings –has made the perfect start in his bid to pull off the sort of great escape Ronnie Moore pulled off at Storm’s beloved Pools.
has been closing the gap in recent weeks, but yesterday proved one of his best rounds of 2015.
Storm sunk seven birdies, with no bogeys on his scorcard.