Frenchman Julien Quesne stormed into the lead of the Allianz Open de Lyon with a four under par 67 in the second round.
With overnight leader Craig Lee not out until the afternoon, Quesne took the opportunity to surge ahead, carding seven birdies and three bogeys to reach nine under overall following his opening 66 at Golf du Gouverneur.
Italian Andrea Perrino signed for a 68 to lie three shots back at six under alongside Baptiste Chappelan of France and Dane Rasmus Hjelm, while four players - Nicolas Meitinger, Michael Lorenzo-Vera, Daniel Vancsik and Mikael Lundberg - were at five under.
With two events of the season remaining after this week, the pressure is on for players to secure a place in the top 20 of the Rankings and gain a European Tour card for next year.
Quesne said: “Everything about my game is good at the moment. My long game especially is working very well. I missed three short putts today but apart from that it was a good round and I’m pleased to be where I am on the leaderboard.
“My season has been so-so. I’m 28th in the Rankings so I need a good week. Hopefully I can take advantage of playing in France this week.”
The Frenchman has been in fine form of late, coming third in the Allianz Open de Toulouse a fortnight ago, one of six top ten finishes this season.
His compatriot Chappelan, who carded a one under par 70, has made the last six consecutive cuts, but needs a high finish to significantly improve on his current 74th place in the Rankings.
He said: “The front nine was very cold and windy so I was happy to get to the turn one under par. After that I was hitting well off the tee and putting well, but I only made one more birdie and had a bogey at the 14th.
“I really need a good week and be in the top ten, not only for the Rankings but to gain entry to next week’s tournament (the Roma Golf Open).”