May 16 (Reuters) - Little-known Belgian Thomas Pieters stole the show in the second round of the Spanish Open in Girona on Friday, surging to the top of the leaderboard with a second consecutive three-under-par 69.
The 22-year-old was one stroke ahead of overnight leader Eddie Pepperell of Britain (71) and Dutchman Joost Luiten (69). Italian Francesco Molinari (67) was in fourth position on 140, two shots off the pace.
"I stayed really patient, I just grinded it out because it was really windy for the first 10 or 11 holes," Pieters told reporters at the PGA Catalunya Resort. "The wind died on the last nine and I took advantage of that.
"I didn't think six-under would be leading but it's a tough course, the rough is really high and the greens are firm. I turned pro in June, I know it's been a quick rise but I'd like to take it steady, take it one tournament at a time and see where it goes."
Spanish trio Alvaro Quiros (141), Miguel Angel Jimenez (142) and Sergio Garcia (143) were also in title contention. (Writing by Tony Jimenez, editing by Toby Davis)
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- Eddie Pepperell