Thirteen players are separated by only two shots at the halfway stage of the Czech Open 2010 - and they include two of the men chasing a Ryder Cup place.
Peter Hanson, 15th on the points table, shares the lead on seven under par with fellow Swede Fredrik Widmark.
England's Simon Dyson, one spot below Hanson in the cup race with only one more week to come, is on five under as he also seeks the win which would take him into the all important top nine.
Hanson, who received an invitation to the event on Monday, added a 70 to his opening 67 and said: "I left four or five shots out there, but I'm feeling good about my game.
“I’m driving okay and hit my irons shots very nicely. It is all about making those putts. I felt I could go low today and had a lot of opportunities on our front nine.”
Widmark is 1,354th - joint last - on the world rankings after having shoulder surgery and then breaking his wrist falling off the roof of his home. The injury was so severe and problematic that he was told at one point he might have to have his arm amputated and had only a ten per cent chance of playing golf again.
But the 34 year old not only made his first halfway cut of the season on The European Tour, but caught Hanson by grabbing three birdies in his last four holes for a 67.
“My goal getting in this event was just to play four rounds,” he said. “ I’ve been injured for a year and a half and I’m just getting back this season and I haven’t really played well so far. I was lucky to get this opportunity to play. I just want to get four rounds and get my game back in shape. It has been great so far but I didn’t expect to be in this position at all."
One behind the leaders are Ireland's Peter Lawrie, who in contrast bogeyed two of the last four, Belgian Nicolas Colsaerts, Argentina's Clodomiro Carranza and another Swede, Fredrik Andersson Hed.
Dyson returned a 69 and commented: "It's weird because I kind of expected there to be double figures (under par) by now, but there isn't and that stands me in good stead."
Ireland's Shane Lowry is alongside him after a best-of-the-day 64 and Welshman Bradley Dredge would have been as well but for arriving for his round 20 seconds late and being penalised two shots.
"I thought I was 12.20 (local time) and it was 12.10," Dredge said after having to sign for a 67 rather than 65.
"I wasn't too happy, but it's my fault for not getting it right."
Spaniard Miguel Ángel Jiménez is also three under and English pair Ross McGowan and Oliver Wilson made the cut on level par.
Colsaerts, who shot 70 playing with joint leader Hanson, said: “Peter got off to a good start so there was good motion in the group. It helps when someone else is playing well – you get a positive mood. You narrow the focus a little more.
“Today 70 was a disappointing score with the way I played, but it is good to be at the top of the leaderboard.
“Hopefully no-one will run away with it, the conditions are good so you have a chance to shoot low.
“It’s a funky course. It’s not the sort we play all year but the surfaces are good. You really have to place the ball well.”