A rare moment of misfortune meant Rafa Cabrera-Bello had to be content with a share of the lead at the halfway point of the BMW International Open at Golf Club Gut Lärchenhof.
The Spaniard was level with three other players on 12 under – Emiliano Grillo, Pablo Larrazábal and Danny Willett – while newly crowned US Open Championship winner Martin Kaymer failed to make the weekend action on his homecoming.
Kaymer, who won this tournament six years ago, shot a 74 on Friday despite attracting healthy support to fall well short of the three under cut off.
At the top of the standings it could have been even better for Cabrera-Bello, but for a double hit on the par five seventh.
The 30 year old, who spent the majority of the morning as a clear leader, inadvertently made a second connection with the ball in his follow through as he attempted to chip out of the rough in front of the green.
To add to his problems the ball was stunned short of the green and after completing bogey Cabrera-Bello watched playing partner Willett, who he shared the overnight lead with, draw level with birdie.
Willett then had to avoid calamity of his own shortly after – as they closed on the ninth – when he horribly shanked his approach.
The Englishman was lucky to clear water away to his right as he ball nestled near the 18th green. He pitched back over the lake to scramble par and stay level with Cabrera-Bello.
The duo were later joined on 12 under by Grillo and Larrazábal, the latter carding a 63 to equal the best round of the week so far.
The Spaniard, who won at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship at the start of the year, went out in 31 after pinning together five birdies from 13 until 17.
Four birdies followed on his way home, that last of which arrived on the 215 yard par three eighth where he dropped his tee shot to a couple of feet away.
While he took the long route to finishing off with par at the ninth, the Spaniard was able to match the 63 carded by Paul Waring earlier in the morning.
Grillo carded his second successive 66 to complete the four way tie at the top, although Andy Sullivan had joined them when play was delayed for 90 minutes by a thunderstorm.
When Sullivan returned, however, he immediately dropped a shot at the par five third before taking double bogey on the ninth to finish.
That left a group of six players - Alex Cejka, Branden Grace, Andreas Hartø, Miguel Angel Jimenez, Robert Karlsson and Craig Lee - as the closest challengers to the leaders on 10 under.
For Denmark’s Hartø it was a memorable day as he made his first cut this season after 13 tournaments.
Cekja, though, was left to lead the home charge as Kaymer struggled in his first tournament since winning at Pinehurst No 2.
He was followed out of the tournament by playing partner Nicolas Colsaerts, but the third member of their group, and fellow German, Marcel Siem stormed home with five birdies in six to end the day on eight under.