Joakim Lagergren rediscovered his form in spectacular style with a 68 to set the clubhouse target on day two of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open hosted by the Rory Foundation.
The Swede had missed six cuts in his previous eight Rolex Series event appearances, including his last three since claiming a maiden victory at the Rocco Forte Sicilian Open.
He broke that run in some style over the first two days at Ballyliffin Golf Club, making six birdies on day two to go with seven on Thursday, and moving to the top of the leaderboard at seven under.
Major champion Danny Willett recently finished in the top ten at the Italian Open and he was a shot off the lead after a 70 alongside South African Zander Lombard, who fired a 68.
Lee Westwood was then in the clubhouse at five under, a shot clear of South African Christiaan Bezuidenhout, Scot Russell Knox and American Peter Uihlein.
Lagergren made gains on the first, third and fourth to get to six under and Westwood also hit that mark with gains on the tenth and 13th.
Westwood made back-to-back bogeys on the 15th and 16th to slip back and when Lagergren bogeyed the eighth, he was tied at the top with Willett who had birdied the 12th.
The 2016 Masters Tournament champion played a lovely chip to make a birdie on the par five 17th but Lagergren left himself a tap-in on the 13th to join him in top spot.
A six-footer on the 14th moved the 26 year old ahead but tee trouble on the next dropped him back into a share before he got on the 17th green in two for a two-putt birdie.
Another nice chip from Willett on the par five fourth had the duo tied at seven under but the 30 year old found sand off the tee on the fifth and after leaving his second shot in the bunker, he went on to record a double-bogey.
Lagergren parred the last to set the target and after birdieing the sixth and bogeying the eighth, Willett holed a 15-footer on the ninth to cut the lead to one.
Lombard was one over for his round after six holes but stormed back with birdies on the 17th, 18th, third, fourth and eighth.
Overnight leader Ryan Fox and Frenchman Matthieu Pavon were also at five under in the early stages of their second rounds.
Englishman Westwood had added a third bogey in four holes on the 18th but gains on the fourth and fifth moved him back in contention with a battling 71.
South Africa's Dylan Frittelli was two under after five holes to sit alongside Westwood.
Bezuidenhout made five birdies and a bogey in a round of 68, Knox dropped two shots in a 69, and Uihlein had a roller coaster 70 containing six birdies and four bogeys.
Dean Burmester, Raphaël Jacquelin, Matthew Nixon and Thorbjørn Olesen were three under, two shots clear of tournament host Rory McIlroy.
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