Jesper Parnevik moved a shot clear of teenage sensation Sergio Garcia at the halfway stage of the Standard Life Loch Lomond after a second round of 67, four under, but blamed a bizarre maths problem on not being further ahead.
The eccentric Swede, renowned for his upturned cap and eating volcanic dust, finished on 11-under-par but admitted afterwards that instead of thinking about a short putt on the 10th green his mind was going round the world.
"I've had this bet with my caddie and I was trying to figure it out," said Parnevik. "If you put a rope round the Earth and then put another one above it on three-foot stakes what's the difference in length? I told him it's less than 20 yards and he thinks it's 10,000 or something."
Parnevik, bidding to qualify automatically for the Ryder Cup, picked up seven birdies during his round to move a shot clear of Garcia who came back to earth after his dazzling opening 62 with a round of 70.
Garcia said: “I didn’t play as well as yesterday but it’s good to see that without playing well I could shoot 70 and be one off the lead.”
Meanwhile the defending champion Lee Westwood moved to within three shots of the lead after a round of 68 despite two dropped shots in then closing six holes. Four birdies in an outward half of 32 were followed by another at the 11th but the Worksop professional confessed to losing his rhythm with a bogey at the 13th.
“It couldn’t have been worse that a 68 today. I had a lot of good chances for birdie. Hopefully I’ll not make too many mistakes over the weekend and play the same.”
Also in the group on eight under is Colin Montgomerie after a round of 65, his best score round the course, while David Park continued his sensational start to life on the European Tour with a round of 66. Roger Winchester holed a seven iron second shot on the second for an opening eagle on his way to a round of 69, two under, to finish eight under, and New Zealand’s Michael Campbell fired a round of 68 to add to his opening 66.
The cut fell on one over par with 73 players qualifying for the final two rounds.