Syme’s sparkling effort in the second round at Meloneras Golf lifted him 100 spots to joint-23rd at the halfway stage, having opened with a 71 on Thursday in the first event on the European Tour’s new Canary Islands Swing.
He sits on eight-under-par alongside Scott Jamieson (68), with Richie Ramsay (65) and Calum Hill (66), on seven and six-under respectively, but they all have work on their hands over the weekend to keep pace with Thorbjorn Olesen.
The Dane, who is awaiting trial on sexual assault charges and being drunk on an aeroplane, also signed for a 61 in his second circuit, having opened with a 65, to lead on 14-under, one ahead of Dutchman Wil Beseling and Rhys Enoch of Wales.
Syme, who shot a 62 at Gullane in the second round of the 2018 Scottish Open, beat that effort with a round that was illuminated by an eagle-3 at the 13th and also contained seven birdies, including two to finish.
“I set myself today a target of seven-under to make sure I was definitely here for the weekend, so I went a couple better than that and that’s good,” said the 25-year-old Fifer.
“To shoot an opening 71 after three weeks off was not the score I was hoping for, so it’s really nice to bounce back with a 61 and to be eight-under after two rounds is pretty solid golf.
“It’s obviously going to be a really low-scoring week and we expected that at the start of the event, with around 20-under likely to be the winning total.
“It means shooting a few good numbers, but it’s just nice to be back in the tournament given where I was lying in the field last night.”
Olesen, a five-time European Tour winner, is playing in his first event this season, having been ruled out of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship after failing a Covid-19 test then picking up a wrist injury.
“I was definitely not expecting this,” said the 31-year-old after signing for an eagle and seven birdies.
Olesen, who became a dad earlier this month when his fiancee, Lauren Zafer, gave birth to a son, added: “I didn’t have that much practice coming in here, only last week, so the expectations were pretty low.
“It was great fun to be out here yesterday and today and shooting such a good number. The thought of 59 didn’t really come to mind, I didn’t even know what the par was, to be honest.”
Beseling carded a bogey-free 63 before being joined on 13-under late in the day by Enoch after he went one better. They are both chasing a maiden tour triumph.
Rafa Cabrera Bello, the local favourite and tournament hosts, picked up four shots in the last five holes to sit alongside Syme and Jamieson on eight-under.
On the Challenge Tour, Craig Howie sits joint-seventh at the halfway stage in the Limpopo Championship in South Africa after a second-round 67 that included a double-bogey 7.
The Peebles player is four shots behind the leader, home man Daniel Van Tonder.