Veggie diet does it as Ruaidhri continues glory chase in Madrid
 Spain's Juan Sarasti. Picture © Getty Images

Spain's Juan Sarasti. Picture © Getty Images

Ruaidhri McGee might not be sure where his next start is coming from but he believes a radical new vegetarian diet is the carrot that keeps him chasing a dream win in the Challenge de Madrid.

Under pressure to perform this week as he plays on a medical extension in the hope that he can also earn himself a better category for the rest of the year, the touring professional for Rosapenna Hotel and Golf Resort added a seven-birdie 67 to his opening 65 to share the halfway lead with Spain's Juan Sarasti on 12 under par.

A maiden win would ease all his worries but he's simply happy to take things one shot at a time, as well as one meal at a time after turing to a vegetarian diet in the New Year.

“My friend’s fiancée put me on to this diet, which not many people know, as she is a strict vegetarian so I thought I would give it a go and it’s been good so far," the Derry man said.

"I’m just trying it for now, but if I look at it from a results point of view then they seem to be improving, so there might be something to it.

“I just need to do more of the same over the next two rounds, no real targets, then we’ll just see what happens.”

He raced to the turn at El Elcin Golf Hotel in Alcala de Henares in five under par, firing a blistering 31 on the front nine for the second day running before coming home in level par as he mixed two birdies with two bogeys.

“I started with a birdie at the first, then missed a couple on two and three, before four more in a row from there,” said the 24 year old. “So I got to five under pretty quick, and was pretty happy with that.

"Then I got to the back nine and picked one up at 11, but I was a bit up and down from there and managed to finish level for the second nine, so I was happy enough.

“After yesterday I said I would take three more of the same, so I felt I had to do something similar today. I didn’t have a target, I just wanted to see what happened.

Sarasti shot a second successive 66 to leave  the leading pair one stroke clear of Swedish rookie Sebastian Soderberg.

Peter Lawrie, who is battling to win his card back on invitations on the main tour, had four birdies and two bogeys in a 70 as he fell one spot to tied 17th on six under.

Simon Thornton and Gareth Maybin are also trying to win back their cards with the former carding a five under 67 to make the cut by a shot on three under.

Maybin was a shot outside the mark with nine holes to play but covered the front nine in two under to post a second successive 71 and make the weekend.

There was no luck though for Birr's Stephen Grant, who was out of sorts and never recovered after running up a double bogey at his opening hole en route to a 79.

Challenge de Madrid, El Encín Golf Hotel (Par 72)

132 Ruaidhri McGee (Irl) 65 67, J Sarasti  (Esp) 66 66,

133 S Soderberg (Swe) 67 66,

134 N Elvira  (Esp) 66 68, R Gouveia (Por) 66 68,

135 S Gros (Fra) 65 70, D Foos (Ger) 67 68,

136 B Virto Astudillo (Esp) 71 65, P Figueiredo  (Por) 69 67, B Stone (RSA) 69 67, E Saltman  (Sco) 70 66, J Glennemo (Swe) 67 69,

137 G Murray  (Sco) 70 67, R Kellett (Sco) 67 70, A Garcia-Heredia (Esp) 64 73, M Trappel  (Aut) 68 69,

138 M Jonzon (Swe) 65 73, S Fallon (Eng) 69 69, C Hanson (Eng) 68 70, J Fahrbring (Swe) 68 70, A Tadini (Ita) 70 68, Peter Lawrie (Irl) 68 70, P Oriol (Esp) 69 69, S Manley (Wal) 70 68, S Walker (Eng) 70 68, C Gloet  (Den) 70 68,

139 P Maddy (Eng) 68 71, A Saddier (Fra) 70 69, S Tiley (Eng) 69 70, D Gaunt (Eng) 70 69, J Senior (Eng) 70 69, A McArthur  (Sco) 67 72,

140 B Evans  (Eng) 73 67, C Berardo (Fra) 70 70, J Lima  (Por) 73 67, L Nemecz (Aut) 73 67, J Garcia Del Moral (Esp) 70 70, P Martin Benavides (Esp) 69 71, R Kakko  (Fin) 68 72,

141 J Lara (Esp) 68 73, J Gonnet  (Fra) 72 69, N Ravano (Ita) 66 75, P Whiteford (Sco) 71 70, G Porteous (Eng) 69 72, F Calmels  (Fra) 71 70, M Lafeber (Ned) 73 68, C Aguilar  (Esp) 69 72, C Paisley  (Eng) 70 71, V Riu  (Fra) 71 70, Simon Thornton (Irl) 74 67, J McLeary  (Sco) 70 71,

142 W Harrold (Eng) 68 74, E Cuartero Blanco  (Esp) 67 75, J Dantorp (Swe) 71 71, A Gee  (Eng) 69 73, J Gallegos  (Esp) 71 71, T Sluiter  (Ned) 71 71, P Archer (Eng) 72 70, W Booth  (Sco) 73 69, M Delpodio  (Ita) 70 72, E Larrañaga (Esp) 75 67, N Kimsey (Eng) 70 72, J Stalter (Fra) 73 69, L Gagli  (Ita) 71 71, A Hortal  (Esp) 73 69, J Walters (RSA) 72 70, J Huldahl (Den) 75 67, Gareth Maybin (Nir) 71 71, M Wiegele  (Aut) 74 68, H Satama (Fin) 70 72, B Stow (Eng) 71 71,

CUT

143 S Kim (USA) 67 76, J Billing (Swe) 68 75, D Stewart (Sco) 70 73, B Ritthammer (Ger) 69 74, D Im (USA) 72 71, J Guerrier  (Fra) 73 70, H Joannes  (Bel) 71 72, A Bernadet  (Fra) 71 72, A Rota (Ita) 75 68, E Goya (Arg) 71 72, P Widegren  (Swe) 74 69, M Orrin (Eng) 71 72, D Huizing (Ned) 74 69, D Ulrich (Sui) 73 70, S Wakefield (Eng) 69 74, B Etchart  (Esp) 73 70, J Doherty  (Sco) 74 69, D Suazo Gonzalez (Esp) 70 73,

144 J Legarrea (Esp) 74 70, J Scrivener (Aus) 74 70, M Søgaard  (Den) 72 72, S Heisele (Ger) 73 71, J Rask (Swe) 69 75, A Ahokas (Fin) 72 72, A Hartø  (Den) 69 75, S Luna (Esp) 71 73, J Hansen  (Den) 74 70, T Pulkkanen  (Fin) 71 73,

145 R Evans  (Eng) 76 69, P Dwyer (Eng) 73 72, T Nemecz (Aut) 73 72, L Tintera  (Cze) 71 74, S Garcia Rodriguez (Esp) 71 74, R Coles (Eng) 73 72, J Ballesteros (Esp) 74 71, A Velasco (Esp) 71 74, P Herreria (Esp) 73 72, V Blazquez (Esp) 70 75, P Howard  (Eng) 78 67,

146 C Bouniol (Fra) 73 73, R Davies (Wal) 73 73, N Quintarelli (Ita) 75 71, A Pavan (Ita) 74 72, B Åkesson (Swe) 71 75,

147 D Law (Sco) 74 73, S Henry  (Sco) 72 75, D Coupland (Eng) 73 74, G Lockerbie  (Eng) 71 76, K Hesbois  (Bel) 76 71, A Halvorsen  (Nor) 74 73, C Balmaseda  (Esp) 72 75, J Makitalo  (Fin) 71 76, K Ferrie (Eng) 70 77, C Del Moral (Esp) 70 77,

148 F Bergamaschi (Ita) 73 75, N Lemke (Swe) 71 77, N Raymond (Eng) 74 74, G Woolgar (Eng) 73 75,

149 M Stewart (Sco) 76 73, C McDonnell (Eng) 76 73, L Motta (Ita) 77 72, F Andersson Hed (Swe) 75 74, C Ford (Eng) 77 72,

150 P Gal  (Cze) 77 73, K Benz (Sui) 75 75, T Elissalde  (Fra) 77 73, S Brown (Eng) 78 72, N Geyger (Chi) 78 72, T Linard (Fra) 70 80,

151 C Shinkwin (Eng) 72 79, N Bertasio (Ita) 76 75, X Ruiz Fonhof  (Ned) 76 75,

152 Stephen Grant  (Irl) 73 79, J Smith (Eng) 73 79, A Snobeck  (Fra) 75 77, J Bragulat  (Esp) 73 79, C Mivis  (Bel) 75 77,

153 A Domingo (Esp) 78 75, M Galiano Aguilar (am) (Esp) 76 77,

154 P Relecom  (Bel) 78 76, E Dubois (Fra) 78 76, J Simon De Miguel (Esp) 76 78,

155 D Suchan  (Cze) 80 75,

157 R Hahn (Hun) 77 80,

** T Murray (Eng) 68 WD,