Lee Slattery (Getty Images)
Lee Slattery picked up where he left off on Thursday as the second round of the BMW Italian Open presented by CartaSi began at Royal Park I Roveri.
Three birdies in the final four holes of his opening round propelled Slattery into second place late in the day, and the Englishman added three further gains - against one bogey - over the first seven holes on his return to the course.
That took him to nine under par for the tournament, as the Bankia Madrid Masters winner chases a second European Tour title.
The 34 year old was one ahead of overnight leader Joel Sjöholm - the Swede among the afternoon starters after his glittering 64 on day one - while another Swede, Joakim Lagergren, and France’s Grégory Bourdy had also reached eight under.
Lagergren, in need of a big week to secure his card for next season, had six unanswered birdies in his first 14 holes, while three-time European Tour winner Bourdy was five under for the day through 11.
Martin Kaymer was going best of the three Ryder Cup-bound players in the field, the German birdieing four of his first ten holes to reach six under.
Meanwhile his playing partner Francesco Molinari dropped back to three under, while the third member of the group, Nicolas Colsaerts, was up to two under.