Scotland's David Drysdale carded a six under par 66 to finish joint leader at the halfway mark of the Challenge Total Fina Elf at Joyenval near Paris. The 26 year old is on 10 under par 134 alongside Spain's Alvaro Salto, who returned 67, and Gianluca Baruffaldi from Italy, who went round in 69.
The trio are a stroke ahead of another Spaniard, Jesus Maria Arruti, and the leading Frenchman, Christophe Pottier.
It is the first time Drysdale has led a Challenge Tour event and he gave the credit for his sudden return to form to his coach Derek Small after spending a week working with him.
"After missing four cuts in a row I spent a week having lessons from Derek," he said. "It's definitely paying off as I played great again today. I missed only one green and gave myself plenty of chances."
Drysdale had seven birdies in his 66, but it wasn't the lowest return of the day. That honour went to four players who returned 65 including two Englishmen, Charles Challen and Kenneth Ferrie along with Marten Olander from Sweden and Frederic Cupillard from France.
It was Challen and Cupillard’s lowest Challenge Tour returns, Challen signing for an eagle and seven birdies, while Cupillard had an eagle and six birdies.
Salto’s second successive 67 represented a sudden return of confidence for the experienced Spaniard. “I did not hit the ball well today but I putted superbly,” he said. “I have not played well since the opening event in Kenya and I lost confidence. But three weeks ago I finished second in the Spanish Championship and now I feel much happier with my game.”
Ranking leader Sebastien Delagrange carded 67 for 136 and joint sixth place with Cupillard, Ferrie, Andre Bossert from Switzerland, and the English trio of Simon Khan, Michael Archer and Sam Walker.
On another day of low scoring, the cut came at four under par 140 with 53 players surviving. Among those who didn't was Gloucester's Stuart Little, fifth on the Challenge Tour rankings, who slipped to an 80 for 150.