Danny Willett battled to a share of the clubhouse lead at the Maybank Championship Malaysia but Nathan Holman quickly regained his advantage on day two at Royal Selangor Golf Club.
World Number 13 Willett overcame illness to shoot a two under par 69 and lay the marker at eight under along with Jorge Campillo, Soomin Lee and Miguel Tabuena.
But Australian Holman, who came into the day with a one stroke advantage, made birdies on the third, fourth and sixth to move two shots ahead at ten under through six holes.
Willett arrived in Malaysia fresh off the back of his victory at the Omega Dubai Desert Classic a fortnight ago and, after turning in 34, rolled in a 15-foot birdie at the fifth to open up a two-shot lead.
A dropped shot on the seventh, however, allowed the pack to close in and the Englishman admitted he had to fight his way around the Kuala Lumpur layout.
I'm struggling a bit with my body. My energy levels collapsed on the back nine, and I started making a few silly mistakes - Danny Willett
"I'm going to see the physio then catch up on some rest, because I'm feeling very tired."
Willett, starting on the tenth, had birdied the 12th and 13th, where he had chipped in for eagle yesterday, and then picked up a further shot on the 16th before giving it back on the 18th.
Filipino Tabuena had also been ill coming into the week but you would not tell from his performance on Friday as he posted an unblemished 68 with birdies on the third, fourth and 13th.
Lee is playing in just his second European Tour event and had held the lead at nine under with birdies at the third, 13th, 14th and 15th but a dropped shot on the penultimate hole saw the South Korean drop back.
Spaniard Campillo is enjoying a steady start to the season, making five of six cuts so far, and he had five birdies and three bogeys in his 69.
Thongchai Jaidee and Marcus Fraser had a pair of 69s to sit seven under, with Masahiro Kawamura and Thaworn Wiratchant, who shared the round of the day so far with a 67, a further shot back.
Jbe Kruger and Casey O'Toole also fired rounds of 67, with the latter recording a hole-in-one on the 12th hole from 193 yards with a seven iron.
"It looked good the whole way, took one bounce and then hopped straight in the cup," he said. "I didn’t see it go in, but when I heard the yells I realised what had happened.
"It’s my first in competition, I’d had four or five in total, but all the others were in practice. So this is the first one that really counts."
The ace also earned the American a million points for stays in Hilton hotels.
"I don’t know how far one million points goes, but I’ve stayed in some pretty bad hotels in Asia over the past few years, so it’ll be very nice to stay in some Hilton hotels instead," he added.