Miguel Ángel Jiménez remained in contention for a 22nd European Tour title on his record 707th appearance as the second round of the Hero Open began at Forest of Arden Marriott Hotel & Country Club.
The 56-year-old fired a flawless 64 on Thursday to sit two shots behind leader Sebastian Garcia Rodriguez.
And with the leader not out until the afternoon, Jiménez halved the deficit on his fellow Spaniard with an outward 35.
After a bogey at the first, Jiménez took a share of the lead through birdies at the second, fifth and seventh, before dropping a second shot of the day at the ninth.
Another Spaniard, Pablo Larrazábal, had joined Jiménez on eight under overnight and, like Garcia Rodriguez, was among the later starters.