Italian Lorenzo Gagli moved into the lead at the Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles after an impressive start to his second round.
With overnight leader Mark Foster, who is six under par, not scheduled to tee off until this afternoon, Gagli, who completed his first round 69 this morning, soon overtook the Englishman following birdies on the second, fourth, sixth and eighth to move one shot ahead on seven under par.
The 25 year old from Florence continues a run of form that has seen him finish third in the Barclays Scottish Open, eighth in the Irish Open presented by Discover Ireland and fifth in last week's Czech Open.
Kenneth Ferrie, who was four under yesterday, birdied the first and ninth holes to move one shot off the lead after his first nine, while former Ryder Cup player and vice-captain Thomas Björn, from Denmark, countered a bogey on the 15th, his sixth, with birdies on the 16th, 18th and first to move to six under.
Two months ago Pablo Larrazábal beat Spanish compatriot Sergio Garcia in a play-off for the BMW International Open - an event Foster led after three rounds - and he followed his 70 with a birdie on the short 10th and then three more in a row from the 14th.
Sweden’s Magnus Carlsson was at five under after six holes of his second round, having bogeyed the 10th and 15th either side of back-to-back birdies at 12 and 13.
Thongchai Jaidee recorded four birdies in his first nine holes to advance to five under, before a bogey on the first saw him drop a shot.
Scotland’s Richie Ramsay, through nine holes after starting on the back nine, shot birdies on the 13th and 14th and, despite a bogey on the 15th, a birdie on the 17th saw him on five under par.
Englishman Oliver Wilson, nine times a runner-up on the European Tour without ever winning, birdied three of his first five holes, but a bogey on the 14th saw him drop to four under alongside Ireland's Peter Lawrie, who is set to tee off at 1.20pm.
Colin Montgomerie is three under after making par on his first eight holes and birdieing his ninth, alongside Frenchman Raphael Jacquelin and Felipe Aguilar from Chile.
Jose Maria Olazabal, Montgomerie’s successor as Ryder Cup captain, stood at four over and was heading out of his first event in Europe since suffering back problems in May.
Argentina’s Tano Goya, who had shared the lead this morning after birdieing the second, soon fell away to one over after shooting a six on the four par third, bogeys on the sixth and seventh, a seven on the five par ninth and a bogey on the 11th.