Mats Maggi, 23, from Brussels, Belgium needed to strike with the first ball of the tenth frame to overtake nightwatchman Ildemaro Ruiz's 1424 and so emerge the tournament leader after the second squad, fully subscribed, on Wednesday afternoon. However, a truly stubborn 10-pin put paid to that ambition and with that sparee and a following spare Maggi's total of 1424 tied with the Venezuelan.
"It wasn't really tough going across the lanes," Maggi explained after the squad. "This was my first entry this year so I tried to bowl and see the transition and I found it really easy from the beginning, so it wasn't difficult for me. I had the right ball and the right spped, so that worked well.
"I think I have bowled in Barcelona five or six times. This is my favorite tournament on the European Tour. There is such a nice atmosphere in this center, then there's a wonderful city, plus the sun, so it is a very good tournament."
In the overall standings, second and third places remain as last night with Osku Palermaa and Marcial Ovide second and third. Finland's Sami Lampo breaks up a Catalan double by slipping into fourth.
There is one more squad this evening and tomorrow we slip into the four squad days, all of which have plenty of entries.