Thomas Norret strengthened his grip on the Beazer Homes Challenge Tour Championship with a second round 70 at Bowood Golf and Country Club in Wiltshire. It leaves the 26-year-old Dane on seven-under-par 137 and two shots clear of England's Scott Watson, Tobias Dier from Germany, and Italy's Federico Bisazza.
Norret, who had made only two cuts on the Challenge Tour this year, has regained his putting touch thanks to an article by Padraig Harrington.
"I read the piece last week and it has helped a lot," he said. "Padraig says to focus on some grass behind the ball and it works for me. I'm happy to get some good scores at last. It has been a year since I shot some good rounds."
Watson, who is quitting tournament golf at the end of the season, carded a 69 for 139, five under par, but says whatever happens over the weekend it won't pursued him to change his mind.
"Even if I win the tournament it won't make any difference," he said. "With two young children I need a steady job instead of scratching a living. When my daughter Macy was born three months ago it changed my outlook.
"Ironically since I decided to pack up I have played much better. It's released all the pressure and it's not an ordeal anymore."
Bisazza, who had an eagle-three at the 10th in his 69, said: "I was lucky. I hit a good drive then my three-wood skipped around a bunker and left me with a 15 metre putt which went in."
Dier was chasing Norret throughout the afternoon after making a great start from the 10th tee. He had two birdies in the first three holes to be out in 34 but could do no better than 37 coming home for 71 and 139.
"I had a great start but I didn't play the final five holes very well," he admitted.
Joint fifth on 140 are Morten Backhausen from Denmark who is benefiting from using a broomstick putter, England's Paul Streeter, another to shoot 69, and Scotland's Graham Rankin, who carded a second successive 70.
The cut came at one over par 145 with 62 players surviving for the weekend.Third round tee-times