Austrian Bernd Wiesberger, twice a winner this season, took over at the top with a near-flawless second round 65 in the Portugal Masters.
It looked like being Padraig Harrington's morning at Oceânico Victoria when he went two clear with six birdies in his first 11 holes.
But in a real mixed bag of a finish the 41 year old Irish star, without a European Tour victory for over four years, had a double bogey, two more birdies and two bogeys, both of those coming when he three-putted.
“I didn't really push on,” admitted the three-time Major Champion. “I made a few mistakes.
“It was all going very nicely and I made a couple more birdies after the double bogey, but I’m a bit upset about the two three-putts at the end.
“That was a pity because eight under would have been a nice return, six under for the round, eight under for the tournament, and I can forget about the double bogey. But as I say the two 3 putts are the ones that hurt a lot more.”
Harrington's 67 for six under allowed 27 year old Wiesberger to edge one ahead after five birdies and an eagle two at the 315 yard 15th, his sixth.
The Vienna golfer's lone dropped shot came at the difficult seventh, where his drive picked up mud and his approach finished in the greenside bunker.
“I'm feeling good,” said Wiesberger. “I didn't hit as many fairways as I would have liked to, but the rough is not up much, so the closer you get to the green, the more shorter clubs you can hit.
“It's not playing particularly long today, so a lot of wedges in and more chances to make more birdies.”
Scot Stephen Gallacher and England's Ross Fisher, the joint overnight pacesetters, were among the later starters.
Gallacher resumed with a par to be alongside Harrington in second place, but Fisher bogeyed the first and slipped into a tie for fourth with 48 year old Spaniard Miguel Angel Jiménez, Swede Fredrik Andersson Hed and South African Jbe Kruger.
Ryder Cup pair Martin Kaymer and Francesco Molinari, playing with their Chicago Captain José María Olazábal, were others off late in the day.
They teed off again at two under, level par and four over, respectively.