Danny Willett hit the front on day two of the Omega European Masters as overnight leader Grégory Bourdy faltered at Crans-sur-Sierre.
After starting the tournament with a sublime eight under 63, Bourdy birdied the first today but then dropped shots on five holes, including four in succession from the tenth, en route to a disappointing 75.
That left him in a tie for eighth, four behind Willett, who mixed six birdies with two bogeys in a second successive 67.
"All in all it was a good day,” said Willett. “You can never complain about a 67.
“My all round game is there or thereabouts. I’m driving the ball really well and my distance control is very good ... so if I can get a bit more consistency on the greens, I should be in for a good weekend.”
Tommy Fleetwood and David Howell went round in 66 and 70 respectively to be two off the lead at six under.
The former turned in 31 and recovered from back to back bogeys at the start of his inward nine by making further gains at 15 and 18.
Howell was content with his performance at Gleneagles last week, where he finished in a tie for 32nd, and believes he is heading in the right direction.
“We talk about that magic word - momentum. It’s a cliché, but like most clichés it's also very true,” he explained.
“I came into the week expecting to play well, instead of just hoping to play well. That's a big difference.
“I had a little wobble on the back nine with back to back bogeys, but I came back well and one under was probably about right, because I played well.”
A congested chasing pack contained Ross Fisher, the beneficiary of an eagle and two birdies in the first five holes of his second round, and Michael Jonzon, who turned in 30 after starting at the tenth.
Peter Hanson, a member of the European Ryder Cup Team heading to Medinah next month, briefly made it to six under with the aid of five birdies, only to run up a triple bogey seven on the fourth after losing his second shot to the right.
A three at the par four seventh enabled the Swede to repeat yesterday’s 69, putting him alongside Bourdy and numerous others at four under.