Defending champion Miguel Angel Jiménez eagled the last to set the clubhouse target at six under par after completing a second round 70 at the BMW PGA Championship.
The Spaniard is two shots ahead of big-hitting compatriot Alvaro Quiros after 36 holes at Wentworth Club, with English pairing David Horsey and Anthony Wall still going well out on the course at five under.
The 54 year old history of The European Tour's flagship BMW PGA Championship has seen only two players retain the title - but Jiménez is out to make that three this weekend.
Bidding to emulate Nick Faldo and Colin Montgomerie, the 45 year old Spaniard moved into a share of the lead this morning as other notables continued to find it hard going.
Jiménez, who beat Ryder Cup team-mate Oliver Wilson in a play-off last year after a hole in one at the fifth in the final round, resumed one behind compatriot Gonzalo Fernandez-Castaño and English pair Horsey and Wall.
British Masters champion Fernandez-Castaño double-bogeyed the opening hole and dropped another shot at the second.
Jiménez saved par from the left hand rough at the first, birdied the short second and after bogeying the next picked up another stroke on the long fourth.
Jiménez returned to four under with a bogey on the 396 yard seventh and parred his next ten holes before a three at the final hole propelled him into the lead.
Quiros achieved a 140 halfway score after a 71, while South Africa’s Charl Schwartzel was also four under after two holes.
Niclas Fasth and Ross Fisher were four under after their first round but still to tee off in round two.
Overnight leaders Wall and Horsey played their first three holes in level par to keep their noses in front of the chasing pack.