Sharvin gets hot in Slovakia with career low 64
 Espen Kofstad. Picture © Ota Mràkota/Relemont 

Espen Kofstad. Picture © Ota Mràkota/Relemont 

Cormac Sharvin fired an immaculate eight par under 64 — the lowest of his fledgling professional career — to go into the weekend just two shots off the lead in the D+D REAL Slovakia Challenge.

On a day when Kevin Phelan had a hole in one at the 179-yard third and carded a 68 to share 19th on six under, Sharvin’s eight-birdie round left him tied for third place on 10 under par and chasing Espen Kofstad.

The Norwegian kept his dreams of competing at this summer’s Olympic Games very much alive with a seven under par second round of 65 that earned him a one shot lead.

Kofstad needs to finish in the top two at Penati Golf Resort to earn a spot at Rio 2016 ahead of Monday’s qualification deadline, and proved to be up to the task as eight birdies and a single dropped shot helped him to 12 under par after 36 holes.

The 28 year old topped the Challenge Tour Rankings in 2012 but a couple of injury-plagued seasons looked to have left his Olympic hopes in tatters, before some fine early season form on the 2016 Road to Oman catapulted him up the Official World Golf Ranking.

With one eye on Brazil, Kofstad maintains that his focus is on maintaining his good form in Senica and not worrying about a top two spot.

“The Olympics was so unrealistic when I started the season, being 1500 in the world,” he said. “It’s awesome to think that I actually now have a chance having moved up so many spots in the world rankings already, and the arrow’s pointing the right way.

“I generally like to look at the leaderboard, and, playing last, it’s not really like you have a target in front of you, but I’m going to try to birdie all the holes and see where it takes me.

“I feel like I got a lot of things cleaned up from yesterday and I kept hitting the fairways and hitting the greens – if you hit the right part of the green you’re going to be close to the hole, so it was nice to be able to hit the iron shots within the bowl all the time.

“It’s an awesome course and I love a Jack Nicklaus design – big fairways and small greens, it’s perfect for me. I can hit a lot of fairways and hit a lot of greens and the greens are so pure.

“It’s nice to be injury-free and able to do some sort of planning. I still have to take it easy and not practise maybe as much as I’d like to, but it’s nice to be able to look forward and put all this behind me.”

Hot on Kofstad’s heels is first round leader Ryan Fox, who is also looking to secure his spot in the Olympics with a strong showing this weekend.

The New Zealander is in a head-to-head tussle with compatriot Mike Hendry – playing on the other side of the world in Japan this week – and is hopeful both that he can secure qualification himself and that Kofstad will join him.

“I’d love to go to the Olympics,” said the 29 year old. “It’s the pinnacle sporting event worldwide and I’d certainly love to go and represent my country.

“I’ve got a little bit of a battle on with Mike who’s playing out in Japan, and I think it’s going to come down to the wire – I might be a little bit lucky in knowing what I have to do on Sunday when he’s already finished.

“I’ve spoken to Espen about it a couple of times. He really likes the idea of going to the Olympics and obviously it’s good motivation for him this week so it’s good to see him putting some pressure on himself and playing well on top of it.

“I wouldn’t mind if he won to get in and I finished second, I could probably live with that and us both go to Rio, that would be pretty fun – hopefully we can both be up there on Sunday, challenging for a title and an Olympic berth.”

Fox’s round of 69 left him two shots behind Kofstad at the halfway mark, with Scott Henry the Norwegian’s closest challenger after the Scot made seven birdies and an eagle on his way to a 65 to reach 11 under par overall.

Alongside Fox in a tie for third are his playing partner from the first two rounds, England’s Aaron Rai, Frenchman Romain Langasque and Sharvin.

Ruaidhri McGee is tied for seventh, just four shots off the lead on eight under par after rounds of 67 and 69 with Phelan six back after his 68.

The cut fell at three under par which meant Gavin Moynihan (70-72) and Gary Hurley (69-73) missed out by one with Gareth Shaw (73-70) two outside the mark.

Chris Selfridge shot a pair of 72s to miss out by three.

Scores after round 2

132 E Kofstad (Nor) 67 65,

133 S Henry (Sco) 68 65,

134 Cormac Sharvin (Nir) 70 64, R Fox (Nzl) 65 69, A Rai (Eng) 70 64, R Langasque (Fra) 66 68, 

136 Ruaidhri McGee (Irl) 67 69, F Fritsch (Ger) 69 67, J Heath (Eng) 71 65, M Pavon (Fra) 67 69, M Orrin (Eng) 68 68, S Tiley (Eng) 69 67, D Perrier (Fra) 68 68, 

137 S Jeppesen (Swe) 68 69, J Loughrey (Eng) 72 65, D Jennevret (Swe) 68 69, P Oriol (Esp) 67 70, E Goya (Arg) 71 66,

138 S Forsstrom (Swe) 69 69, D Van Driel (Ned) 69 69, T Pulkkanen (Fin) 71 67, Kevin Phelan (Irl) 70 68, J Van Der Vaart (Ned) 69 69, J Robinson (Eng) 70 68, O Farr (Wal) 69 69, J Smith (Eng) 70 68, P Mejow (Ger) 71 67, M Kinhult (Swe) 72 66, B Stow (Eng) 75 63, L Gagli (Ita) 70 68, D Gaunt (Aus) 70 68, A Chesters (Eng) 70 68,

139 D Law (Sco) 69 70, A Tadini (Ita) 71 68, F Calmels (Fra) 69 70, T Detry (Bel) 69 70, F Bergamaschi (Ita) 68 71, O Stark (Swe) 72 67, S Brown (Eng) 70 69, J Lando Casanova (Fra) 71 68, J Dantorp (Swe) 69 70, D Wright (Eng) 71 68, D Papadatos (Aus) 69 70, 

140 C Blomstrand (Swe) 68 72, K Samooja (Fin) 73 67, C Koerbler (Aut) 71 69, J Gonnet (Fra) 71 69, P Maddy (Eng) 73 67, M Wiegele (Aut) 70 70, K Johannessen (Nor) 71 69, N Ravano (Ita) 69 71, M Keskari (Ger) 72 68, B Paolini (USA) 74 66, 

141 G Piris Mateu (Esp) 70 71, J White (Eng) 69 72, A Knappe (Ger) 69 72, S Hutsby (Eng) 70 71, M Søgaard (Den) 70 71, A Björk (Swe) 70 71, C Ford (Eng) 71 70, M Delpodio (Ita) 68 73, G Porteous (Eng) 73 68, J Cafourek (Cze) 76 65

CUT

142 Gavin Moynihan (Irl) 70 72, R Santos (Por) 72 70, J Hahn (USA) 73 69, K Eriksson (Swe) 70 72, T Gornik (Slo) 72 70, J Sjöholm (Swe) 72 70, C Del Moral (Esp) 71 71, M Crespi (Ita) 71 71, D Burmester (RSA) 70 72, P Gal (Cze) 75 67, Gary Hurley (Irl) 69 73, F Laporta (Ita) 70 72, J Lara (Esp) 74 68, C Gloet (Den) 74 68, B Rusch (Sui) 73 69, T Tree (Eng) 74 68, D Stewart (Sco) 72 70,

143 M Nixon (Eng) 72 71, B Parker (Eng) 70 73, M Wallace (Eng) 71 72, F Becker (Ger) 73 70, E Blom (Swe) 68 75, Gareth Shaw (Nir) 73 70, M Palmer (RSA) 73 70, A Velasco (Esp) 69 74, M Rominger (Sui) 69 74, L Nemecz (Aut) 74 69, F Mruzek (Cze) 73 70, D Huizing (Ned) 76 67,

144 S Piaget (Mon) 74 70, V Riu (Fra) 75 69, Chris Selfridge (Nir) 72 72, S Fallon (Eng) 70 74, R Saxton (Ned) 72 72, R Roussel (Fra) 73 71, B Eccles (Aus) 74 70, D Gavins (Eng) 77 67, M Simonsen (Den) 75 69, D Frittelli (RSA) 70 74, J Thomson (am) (Eng) 72 72,

145 R Kellett (Sco) 72 73, S Soderberg (Swe) 73 72, M Trappel (Aut) 75 70, T Murray (Eng) 70 75, C Koepka (USA) 73 72, J Girrbach (Sui) 72 73, L Tintera (Cze) 75 70,

146 P Nic (Cze) 74 72, J Barnes (Eng) 73 73,

147 C Russo (Fra) 79 68, T Bakker (Fin) 72 75, M Schneider (Ger) 75 72, M Decottignies-Lafon (Fra) 74 73, N Lemke (Swe) 73 74,

148 A Perrino (Ita) 74 74, P Valasek (Svk) 75 73, P Figueiredo (Por) 73 75, P Shields (Sco) 77 71, J Allan (Eng) 81 67, C Hinton (Eng) 76 72, J Burnier (Sui) 78 70, A Korinek (Cze) 75 73, A Maestroni (Ita) 69 79, M Brezovsky (am) (Svk) 76 72,

149 R Kind (Ned) 70 79, V Seeneevassen (Mus) 76 73, B Ritthammer (Ger) 76 73, A Hartø (Den) 73 76, J Sarasti (Esp) 72 77,

150 P Relecom (Bel) 74 76, D Suchan (Cze) 78 72, A Bernadet (Fra) 80 70, J Mullen (Eng) 75 75, T Návrata (am) (Cze) 75 75, A Puchmelter (am) (Svk) 76 74, 

151 E Cuartero Blanco (Esp) 71 80, P Widegren (Swe) 77 74, V Kostelka (am) (Cze) 75 76,

153 C Sutherland (Sco) 77 76, P Dedek (Cze) 78 75, 

154 B Robinson (Eng) 80 74, D Siwy (am) (Cze) 80 74, 

155 L Motta (Ita) 83 72, D Ulrich (Sui) 79 76, 

156 J Friesz (Svk) 76 80, 

158 O Lieser (Cze) 75 83, 

160 R Molnar (Aut) 84 76, 

162 R Gruber (Aut) 85 77, 

165 S Cairns (Ger) 86 79, 

WD/RT R Coles (Eng) 72 WD, P Martin Benavides (Esp) 80 WD, G Woolgar (Eng) RT 0, S Einhaus (Ger) RT .