Local favourite Danny Chia fired two eagles to take a three stroke clubhouse lead midway through the second round at the Maybank Malaysian Open.
The 36 year old Malaysian began the day at Saujana Golf and Country Club four shots adrift of overnight leader Noh Seung-yul, but carded a seven under 65 to reach the halfway stage on 13 under, three ahead of the Korean youngster, who is playing in the afternoon.
Also making a move up the leaderboard were British duo Nick Dougherty (70) and Simon Griffiths (66) who were tied for fourth on eight under after their morning rounds.
Simon Dyson also moved into contention on seven under after recording the tournament's first hole in one in his round of 66.
And after a slow start with a six over par 78 on day one, World Number 11 Anthony Kim is in a good position to make the cut after improving to one under with a 65.
However, the morning belonged to Chia, who carded a six under par 66 in the first round but made up the deficit on Noh with birdies on four of his first eight holes after teeing off on the back nine.
The Malaysian missed a pair of short birdie attempts at the first and third after making the turn but took the outright lead when he teed off to within a foot of the cup on the par four fourth and holed out for eagle to move to 12 under.
He dropped his only shot of the day at the next hole but pitched in from 90 yards for another eagle on the seventh to stretch his advantage.
It is a familiar position for Chia, who shared the lead with Dougherty and India's Jyoti Randhawa at last year's Maybank Malaysian Open before dropping out of contention with a third round 78.
"I played really good and I am very happy," he said.
"I kept telling myself to be calm out there. My biggest concern is to not get too emotional but I played well on the front nine and told myself to be focused.
"I eagled the fourth and then chipped in at the seventh and my club went sky high. That was nice.
"It looks like my game plan over the last two days has been pretty good so I hope to stick to it during the weekend."
After carding a 66 in his opening round, Dougherty had more subdued day although his two under 70 kept him in a position to challenge the front runners over the weekend.
"I think today didn't come quite as easily as yesterday - I didn't hole as many putts," said the Liverpool native.
"But I think, all in all, to be able to shoot two under on a day like that when not a lot happens is good. It keeps me in contention."
Dyson has finished third at the Malaysian Open the last two years and is in contention once again after picking up a fortuitous ace at the 177 yard par three fifth with a seven iron to improve to seven under.
"I hit it a lot more right than I wanted but it got a beautiful kick left and started rolling down the hill," said the Yorkshireman of his second hole in one on The European Tour.
"It was always going to hit the green because of the slope but for it to go in was one of those little pieces of luck that you need."