Dean Burmester fired a flawless 65 to head into the weekend at the Omega European Masters with a slender one shot lead.
The South African reached the turn in 32 after closing the front nine with birdies at the sixth, seventh and ninth.
He then picked up further shots at the tenth and 14th before producing a brilliant up-and-down at the 17th to keep his card clean.
The two time European Tour winner had a good opportunity to double his advantage at the last but he was unable to convert his birdie putt from nine feet and went into the clubhouse on 11 under par.
Englishman Andy Sullivan and Belgian Thomas Detry were in a tie for second on ten under, with Italy's Renato Paratore a single shot further back.
Afternoon starter Burmester began the day four shots behind first round leader James Morrison after opening with a 64, and he took a while to get going on Friday, reeling off five pars in a row before getting his first birdie from 25 feet at the sixth.
Two more birdies came along shortly afterwards - at the seventh and ninth - and with Morrison surrendering a four shot lead after making a disappointing start to the back nine, Burmester hit the front with a 15 foot birdie on the tenth.
The 32-year-old gave himself a good eagle chance at the par five 14th after sending his approach to 15 feet but he had to settle for a birdie there to move to 11 under.
And he did well to stay there after going from rough to bunker at the 17th, but a superb shot from the sand bailed him out and he went on to save par before narrowly missing his birdie putt at the last.
Burmester was happy with his day's work. He said: "I've played well both days, today I was just solid.
"I didn't get off to the best of starts, but holed a nice ten footer on the first for par. You need those momentum ones, that just set the tone for the day.
"I putted beautifully again today. The greens were a little trickier this afternoon, I think it will be more of the same on the weekend.
"I'm very happy with today."
Sullivan, meanwhile, carded three birdies and his only bogey of the day on the front nine before making two further gains coming down the stretch.
He was full of praise for his caddie Tom Ridley for his contribution so far this week.
"He is doing a great job and I'm doing my best to follow his instructions," said Sullivan. "It's just different now how I would see it, I would be a lot more aggressive with more recoveries, but putting it into the right areas has given us a lot of chances.
"It has been easy pars, which round here is a luxury. It can be a dogfight out there sometimes trying to get it up and down around the greens - it's really tough.
"We're just being smart and diligent with our start lines and finish lines and it seems to be working."
Detry had an eventful front nine, sandwiching a birdie at the fifth between bogeys at the fourth and sixth before going eagle-birdie-birdie from the seventh.
He then made back to back birdies at the 14th and 15th to get to ten under.
He said: "It feels like I've really found my swing again. I've been struggling a little bit the last couple of weeks.
"I have done some work on my short game with my coach and my swing with another coach and it's really paying off it feels like, especially on a course like this one where iron shots are really important, hitting the targets on the greens, it's really important that I've been able to do that."