Ireland took advantage of Jack Hume's magnificent run of form to move three strokes clear of France on nine under par at the halfway stage of the Southern Cross Invitational in Argentina.
With third placed Australia looking out of the running, 14 shots behind in third, it looks like a straight fight for the title between the two tricolours at Nordelta Golf Club north of Buenos Aires with Hume four shots clear in the individual standings on eight under par.
The 21-year old from Naas, who was sixth in last week's Argentinian Open Strokeplay, added a magnificent, bogey free, five under 67 to his opening 69 to move into a commanding lead.
Today's tee times
After a birdie at the par-five fourth, the reigning West of Ireland champion birdied the seventh, eighth and ninth to turn in 32 and then came home in one under 35 by following eight straight pars with a birdie three at the 18th from four feet.
He also had his share of fortune at the 17th, where he duffed his second with a wedge but got up and down to save par.
He's four clear of France's Romain Langasque (71-69) with Chile's Jaoquin Niemann (71-70) and France's Hugo Coussad (69-72) tied for third on three under.
West Waterford and Maynooth University's Gary Hurley is alone in fourth on two under after adding a 72 to his opening 70.
Runner up in his year's Spanish Amateur Open and tied eighth last week, the sweet-swinging Munster man birdied the par-three second from 10 feet and all four par-fives in a five-birdie round.
But he also bogeyed the fifth, sixth, seventh (two to get out of a bunker), 12th and 18th and will be keen to keep the mistakes to a minimum in today's third round alongside Coussaud and Aussie Cameron Davis.
Ireland leads the team standings by three shots on nine under 423 from France with The Island's Gavin Moynihan recovering from a double bogey at the first — he found a fairway bunker and then spun his approach off the green — to post five birdies and four bogeys in a one over 73 that leaves him tied 10th on one over.
Moynihan was disappointed to bogey 18 after finding another fairway bunker off the tee but after being three over after three when he could have been five over, he was not too displeased with 73.
Irish Close champion John-Ross Galbraith is 11 over after adding a 76 to his opening 79 on a tough, Jack Nicklaus design where water comes into play on 11 holes.
A level par 72 would do his confidence no harm and with three of four scores to count, Ireland may well need him in a format where a big lead can disappear quickly.