Jamie Moul remained ahead at the Acaya Open in Italy, but a poor back nine – where he dropped six shots - in the second round prevented him from extending his lead.
The Englishman was five under for his round after ten holes, but wayward tee shots proved his undoing as he slipped to a one over par 71 to lead Spaniard Jorge Campillo, who signed for a one under par 69, by two.
Henrik Norlander of Sweden had a 71 to reach one under par overall, while Elliot Saltman and HP Bacher, both two under in the first round, were among the afternoon starters.
Moul, who had a 65 on day one, looked to be once again stamping his authority on the Acaya Golf Resort course with five birdies in the first ten holes, but his round unravelled with a double bogey at the 12th and bogeys at the 14th and 16th. Another double bogey at the last added insult to injury.
“I got off to a great start and was five under through ten, then I just hit four bad tee shots,” said the 26 year old from Essex. “You can’t do that round here – it means you’ll be dropping shots all over the place.
“I went in the water three times and left up the last. It was all down to the tee shots; I didn’t do too much else wrong today. Even tee shots you think are going to be alright, if they drift slightly off line or run into the rough, you’re going to be punished.
“On the 15th it just ran out of fairway and went into the rough, and it took me three minutes to find it, it was so buried.
“I’ll maybe work on my driving a little this afternoon but I’m very happy with the way I’m playing. It’s just four bad tee shots that have cost me a few shots, and you’re going to hit a few bad ones at some point. This course bites you.
“It is roasting out there, it’s unbelievable. At 6.30 this morning the practice range was the sweatiest place in the world. It’s energy sapping playing in this heat so I need to have some food and rest this afternoon.”
Campillo was one over at the halfway mark but managed to turn things around on the back nine.
“I’m playing well and it’s nice to test yourself on a course as difficult as this,” he said. “It’s good to come away with par or one under and feel like you’ve played really well. It’s a nice change from scores of seven, eight under every day, it means it’s not a putting competition.”
Norlander was delighted to make the cut, let alone be in contention, after missing out by one shot in his first two Challenge Tour events.
He said: “I started off really badly, with a double bogey on the 11th and a bogey on the 12th, so I was three over after three. I got it back to finish one under for the two rounds even though I didn’t finish very well, so overall I’m very happy that I could grind it out and stay under par.
“I missed the cut in my first two Challenge Tour events – both by one shot – so it’s third time lucky and I’m happy to be playing on a Saturday.”