James Morrison took the outright lead in the Alstom Open de France at Le Golf National on 10 under par after carding a magnificent second round 66.
The Englishman nearly pulled out of the tournament after he was hospitalised on Tuesday night when his Crohn’s disease flared up.
However, he moved four shots shots clear of overnight leaders Richard Green and Graeme Storm, who were among the later starters.
Morrison had a rather sedate start to proceedings after going level par through the back nine but the 26 year old picked up five birdies as he equalled his score from yesterday.
Richie Ramsay is just one shot behind Green and Storm at five under after compiling 68 to add to his 69 from yesterday.
Three birdies in five holes at the start of the front nine took the 28 year old into a share of top spot, but he failed to get up and down from just short of the seventh green.
Thorbjørn Olesen joins the Scot in a tie for fourth place after a level par 71.
The Dane had also shared the lead at the end of his front nine but bogies at the 12th and 15th dropped him back to four under before he birdied the par three 16th.
Former Ryder Cup player Paul Broadhurst, who won the title back in 1995, dropped shots at the 15th and 18th as he carded 70 to move to four under.
The 45 year old admitted that the course is inspiring as well as foreboding as he seeks a top 10 finish to qualify for the Scottish Open next week.
He said: “Daunting course, as well, with the finish we've got out there, you can never sort of relax. Every shot you've got to concentrate on.
“But it's always nice to come back to a course you've done well on. The first name we saw on the board was Stormy and he always seems to do well around here, and obviously I've had my moments around here as well. It's nice to come back here.
“Ideally, a top 10 this week or better will get me in next week to the Scottish Open. Just take it from week to week really.”
Michael Campbell leapt 45 places into the top 10 after the Scot struck a round of 67 to move to three under alongside Nicolas Colsaerts.
One shot behind is Marcel Siem, who, alongside leader Morrison, produced the round of the day thus far with a five under par 66. Three birdies in the last six holes helped the German’s cause.
Defending champion Miguel Angel Jiménez will miss the cut after making an eight over par 79, whilst fellow 2010 Ryder Cup players Francesco Molinari, Peter Hanson and Bubba Watson are the other high profile names to miss out.