Ben Stow, a former University of Kentucky golfer from England, shot the best round of the day Friday in the second round of the European Tour's Czech Masters.
Stow's 6-under-par 66 in Vysoky Ujezd, Czech Republic, included an eagle, five birdies and one bogey. He moved up 68 spots on the leaderboard to a tie for ninth.
With two rounds to play, he's five shots behind leaders Pelle Edberg and Matthew Fitzpatrick. Both are at 11-under par after shooting 67s on Friday.
"I've been working really hard on my game, so it's just nice to get something back from the hard work," Stow said Friday in an interview posted on the European Tour's website. "It was really enjoyable."
Stow, who made the cut for the second straight week on the tour, credited his success to his short game.
"I've been working really hard on my putting recently. Putting's normally the best part of my game and I just rolled it lovely today," he said. "(I) hit all my lines. The putts that didn't go in had a good chance, even if they missed."
This is the rookie's fourth European Tour event of the season. Stow has also played in six events on the second-tier European Challenge Tour this season.
His best finish on the top tour was last week's tie for 71st at the Made in Denmark. His tie for 12th at the KPMG Trophy stop in Belgium was his best finish on the Challenge Tour.
"Since I've turned pro in April, really I've struggled if I'm going to be honest," Stow said. "I haven't really played great. But I've been working really hard, and I felt like for the last three or four weeks it's kind of been coming. I've been playing some good golf. My short game's been getting tidy. I just thought I'm just going to have to wait and see, it's going to come because I'm a good golfer."
Stow said the adjustment from amateur to pro hasn't been easy.
"You have to play a different style of golf," he said. "Sometimes the amateur game in Great Britain doesn't always lend itself to turning professional. ... Out here, probably 80 percent of the field can win, whereas when you walk up at an amateur event there might be 10 or 15 or 20 guys that can win."
Two more solid rounds could be a game-changer for Stow.
"In my position, if you have one good week it can change your life," he said. "I mean, who knows what's going to happen over the next few days. But say I play really, really well and finish top two or three and then go on to next week and play well. That could be it. It's just one of those things where you've got to try to take your chances when you're in the position that I am."