Alvaro Quiros leapt from joint-third overnight into a two-shot lead at the Sicily Open in Verdura on Friday after making four closing birdies in a round of 64.

The Spaniard, who was once ranked 21 in the world before slumping to 703, followed Thursday's 63 to go 15 under par, leading Michael Hoey and Sebastian Soderberg by two shots at the halfway stage.

"My game today was a little bit worse than yesterday but my putting on the back nine was unbelievable so I'm very happy with it," said Quiros.

He also carded eight consecutive pars and suggested that they may been dropped shots just a few months ago.

"Today was a big step mentally speaking, trying to be patient," he said.

Joint overnight leader Soderberg birdied the 12th, 14th and 17th holes before giving up a late bogey.

"It's a little windier today so I think three under for the day is a good score. Driving hasn't been a strength of my game recently," he explained.

Hoey also pointed to the weather on his drop from being co-leader overnight.

"It was tricky in the wind. It's all about the next two days, I'm in a good position," said the Northern Irishman.

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