There was a LIV Golf surge on day two of the International Series England, with five players from the new series occupying five of the top six spots on the leaderboard.

David Puig showed just what he is capable of by shooting a bogey-free five-under-par 66 to take a share of the halfway lead at the International Series England, with Jason Kokrak from the United States.

Young Spaniard Puig, in just his second year in the professional game, fired five birdies in his first eight holes and then parred his way home to top the leaderboard on six-under.

Kokrak returned a 69, while his compatriots Andy Ogletree and James Piot and Abraham Ancer from Mexico, are one shot back. Alongside them is the only player with no LIV Golf experience, Australian Jack Thompson.

Ogletee, leader of the Asian Tour Order of Merit (OOM) and the International Series (OOM), fired a fine 65 after his opening 72, with Piot, Thompson, and Ancer returning 67s.

First-round leader Sarit Suwannarut from Thailand carded a 72, recovering well after a poor outward half that saw him make four bogeys on the trot, and is a further shot adrift.

It was another grey and cold day at Close House, near Newcastle, with light showers in the afternoon but that did little to deter Puig, who is looking to claim his maiden title since turning professional following a fine amateur career at Arizona State University.

“Hitting the ball pretty good, the putts that dropped at the beginning didn’t drop at the end but overall, pretty happy,” said the 21-year-old.

“It was tough. But at the end of the day, at least for me, it’s a pretty short course so I have a lot of wedges in. It was maybe an extra club off the tee on some of those holes, but at the end of the day, you’re hitting the same club into the green.

“It was obviously a little more windy than yesterday, but I don’t think it played that tough because the greens are still pretty receptive and with preferred lies. But yeah, it was a grind too, I mean you needed to hit good shots to have birdie opportunities, and I think I did.”

Ogletree arrived this week short of playing time, having travelled with LIV Golf as a reserve, but has quickly shook the rust off. He shot the best round of the week so far, tearing up the course with four birdies on the back nine after starting on 10, followed by three on the front side before dropping his only shot of the day on nine.

He said: “I hit my driver a lot better today and I was in position a lot, kept it on the right side of the hole locations. There are some big run offs around the greens here, so you have to really pay attention to where the up slopes are, and kind of play the right portions. That’s what I was doing today, just kind of kept it in front of me. One bad drive in the last hole there, cost me a little bogey coming in. But other than that it was a good round.”

There are more LIV Golfers lurking a little further back as England’s Ian Poulter returned a 70 and is three-under with Travis Smyth (68) and Matt Jones (70) from Australia, India’s Anirban Lahiri (69), South African Neil Schietekat (69), Thailand’s Phachara Khongwatmai (70) and Suradit Yongcharoenchai (71), and Zimbabwean Kieran Vincent (70).

England’s Lee Westwood (75) finished on the cut, made at three-over, along with Poulter’s son, Luke (73), an amateur.