Luke Donald remained in contention to defend his BMW PGA Championship title with a second consecutive 68 at Wentworth Club.
The World Number Two, looking to regain top spot from Rory McIlroy at the venue where he dethroned Lee Westwood 12 months ago, carded three bogeys but two of them were followed by birdies and he eagled the 12th after dropping a shot at the 11th.
There were five birdies in total, leaving Donald second – four adrift of compatriot James Morrison.
With McIlroy struggling to make the cut after an opening 74, a top-eight finish may be enough for Donald to return to World Number One.
“Obviously I’m very pleased with that round,” he said. “This is a tricky course, and the scores are reasonably good. Obviously James Morrison had a great round - there are scores out there because the greens are holding.
“When I made bogey on 15, to finish with a couple of birdies on 16, 17, really will make me feel a lot better going into the weekend.
“I'm feeling very strong on the greens. I feel like something that has been not as consistent for me over the last couple of months, but felt very comfortable on the greens the last two days. Every time I've had opportunities, I'm seeing the line, and got the speed down and making some good putts.”
Asked whether he had calculated what was needed to depose McIlroy, Donald added: “A situation like at THE PLAYERS where Rory had missed the cut and I had that opportunity, then I might focus on it. But to be honest, the focus is always to try and win the tournament.”