Three birdies in the space of four holes has put Victorian Matias Sanchez in position to advance to Second Stage of DP World Tour Qualifying School in Spain later this year.
The top four players and ties at the completion of First Stage at Rosebud Country Club on Friday will earn a spot at Second Stage in November, Sanchez and New South Welshman Michael Pearce co-leaders at 3-under par through 36 holes.
Triumphant at the 54-hole Ian Weigh Toyota Rockhampton Pro-Am two months ago, Sanchez had the honour of striking the first tee shot at Rosebud’s North Course on Tuesday morning.
He teed off at 8.44am on Wednesday but found himself 2-over on his round and 1-over for the tournament following bogeys at the first and fifth holes.
For the second straight day he made birdie at the par-5 ninth to turn in even par before making his move with birdies at 12, 14 and 15.
Pearce birdied holes 16 and 17 in his opening round of 2-under 69 but also lost ground early on Wednesday with bogeys at three and six.
Like Sanchez, Pearce turned momentum with a birdie at nine and then picked up two more at 14 and 15 to post 1-under 70 and join Sanchez at 3-under.
The pair are just one stroke clear of Andre Lautee (71) with Thai Sarut Vongchaisit (71), Queenslander Cooper Eccleston (71), New South Welshman Lucas Higgins (71) and Japan’s Miki Yamaji (73) all in a tie for fourth at even par.
Round 3 begins at 8am on Thursday with Sanchez, Pearce and Lautee to tee off in the final group at 9.06am.