Killarney's Tommy O'Driscoll battled back from four over par after just five holes to share 10th place at the midway stage of the Copa Andalucía at Real Club de Golf Guadalmina in Spain.
The 18-year old plus one handicapper made some poor decisions and three-putted twice as he double bogeyed the first and bogeyed the fourth and fifth holes to put himself under pressure in this elite, 72 hole strokeplay event near Marbella.
But he hit back with birdies at the fifth, eighth, 11th and 17th and with just one more dropped shot at the 10th, a one over 73 left him in 10th place on one over 145, seven shots behind Spain's Mario Galiano.
The leader, ranked 20th in the world, added a 70 to his opening 68 to lead by a stroke on six under from compatriot Pep Angles.
The Top 45 and ties will make the cut after Saturday's third round and all three Irish entrants are in position to make the final day with Junior Open champion Kevin LeBlanc from The Island in 14th spot on two over as he used a two-iron off the tee and hit just one driver as he carded a second successive 73 featuring two birdies and three bogeys.
Limerick's Mark MacGrath, who played for the Munster Boys side in 2013 and 2014, moved up to 35th place on seven over as he added a 74 to his opening 77.
MacGrath has made just one birdie in his opening two rounds but despite that and a lost ball on Thursday, he's done well to keep his score going as he works to bed-in recent swing changes.
Like O'Driscoll, James Sugrue and Sean Doyle, MacGrath is working with PGA professional Michael Collins on improving his technique.
The third round should prove interesting for all three Irishmen in action, especially for O'Driscoll, who will have a chance to compare his game with Spanish Open Boys champion, Xabier Gorospe, the latest talent to emerge from the Basque country.
COPA ANDALUCÍA MASCULINA, Real Club de Golf Guadalmina (72 holes)
(Click for detailed scoreboard)
1 Mario Galiano Aguilar 68 70 138 -6
2 Pep Angles Ros 68 71 139 -5
3 Fco Javier Poladura Lopez 71 69 140 -4
4 Scott William Fernandez Salmon 70 70 140 -4
5 Matyas Zapletal 72 69 141 -3
6 Lauri Ruuska 68 73 141 -3
7 Victor Pastor Rufian 69 74 143 -1
8 Adria Arnaus Antunez 70 74 144 PAR
9 Miguel Bisellach Servera 76 69 145 +1
10 Tommy O Driscoll 72 73 145 +1
14 Kevin Leblanc 73 73 146 +2
35 Mark MacGrath 77 74 151 +7