Just one of the 45-man field broke par on a day of carnage in the season-ending Apulia San Domenico Grand Final in Italy.

But it wasn’t Glasson’s Colm Moriarty, who saw his hopes of earning promotion to the main tour through the top-20 in the Challenge Tour rankings suffer a serious reverse as he carded a second round 77 in gusting winds at San Domenico Golf in Puglia.

Conditions were so brutal that everyone in the field shot over par with the exception of Frenchman Charles-Edouard Russo, who carded a three under 68 to beat the next best score of the day by four clear shots.

As a result, Russo jumped 31 places to tied fourth on three-under par but Moriarty’s six-over effort saw him fall from eighth to tied 23rd on four over at the halfway stage of an event where he needs a top-two finish to move into the crucial top-20 in the final Challenge Tour rankings on Saturday evening.

England’s Steven Tiley and Austria’s Bernd Wiesberger remain at the head of affairs on three-under par despite posting two over par 73s.

The pair led going into day two alongside Peter Gustafsson of Sweden. But the man famed for his colourful sunhats three-putted the 18th from eight feet for a 74 that left him alone in third place on two-under.    

Russo defied gusting winds of up to 30mph to shoot a superb round of 68 which featured just one bogey – three fewer than anyone else managed.

Moriarty can still achieve his goal but he will need to make birdies and he had none on Thursday in a six-bogey round that could prove costly.