Michael Hoey is just two shots off the lead at the halfway point of the Rocco Forte Open in Sicily after carding  a second round 68.

Yesterday's 61 was the 38-year-old's lowest round of his professional career, with eight birdies in his opening 11 holes at Verdura Open as he shared the opening round lead with Sweden's Sebastian Soderberg.

He dropped his first shot of the tournament at the third, though reeled off four birdies before dropping another at the par-4 14th.

A bogey on the last was a disappointing finish, but he shares second place with Soderberg at 13-under-par, two shots adrift of leader Alvaro Quiros.

Gary Hurley enjoyed a fine round in Italy too as his 66 means he is well placed at nine-under-par.