A level par 71 was good enough for England’s Luke Donald to retain his four shot advantage at the Dunlop Phoenix in Japan.
The World Number Three could not reproduce the sparkling form that had taken him to 13 under par at Phoenix Country Club, mixing three birdies with three bogeys.
The rest of the field failed to take advantage, however, with first round co-leader Brendan Jones 67 to move into a share of second with Shunsuke Sonoda the day’s most significant move.
If Donald can complete the job on Sunday it will be his first victory since successfully defending his BMW PGA Championship title at Wentworth Club back in May.
Spain’s Alvaro Quiros moved into the top ten with a two under par 69, although the long hitter is eight behind Donald.
Quiros’ compatriot Gonzalo Fernandez-Castaño advanced to two under par, but Ryder Cup star Nicolas Colsaerts dropped back to one under with a 72.