Matt Wallace took over at the top of the Scottish Championship presented by AXA leaderboard after making the most of favourable early scoring conditions to shoot a second round 67.
The 30-year-old's impressive recent form continued as he carded six birdies and a single bogey at Fairmont St Andrews on Friday to jump to 12 under par.
That took him into the clubhouse with a two shot advantage over fellow morning starter Adrien Saddier, who posted a second successive 67 courtesy of a closing birdie at the 18th.
Overnight leader Adrian Otaegui was among the group another shot back on nine under in the early stages of his second round, after making his first bogey of the week at the 11th - his second hole.
Ryder Cup captain Padraig Harrington and Paul Waring were also three shots behind Wallace after shooting second rounds of 69 and 67 respectively.
Wallace began the day three shots behind first round leader Otaegui after opening up with a 65 on Thursday but the Englishman set about closing the gap with a birdie at the long 12th - his third hole.
The four time European Tour champion dropped a shot at the next but fired a bounce back birdie on the 14th to return to eight under.
Wallace holed his ten foot birdie putt at the 18th before making it back to back gains at the first to join Otaegui at the summit before the Spaniard had even started his second round.
After a run of four straight pars, Wallace reeled off back to back birdies at the sixth and seventh to open up a two shot lead.
The World Number 51 almost made it three in a row but his lengthy birdie putt on the eighth green narrowly missed the hole.
The Englishman gave himself another chance at the last, sending his approach into the ninth to 20 feet, but left his putt just short.
Wallace spent his first two rounds in the company of Harrington but he does not think his performances will influence the Captain's thinking ahead of next year's rescheduled contest at Whistling Straits.
"It's good that I've done that in front of him but I'm not sure it'll make much difference to Padraig," said Wallace, who is looking to make his debut in the contest.
"He'll want players to be in there on merit and then if it comes down to a pick then he'll want to choose someone that's in form.
"I'm going to try and do it where I don't need to get a pick this time. This is a nice start. I'm taking in some form over the last few weeks, just not really posting any numbers.
"Hopefully I can do that this week."