Paraguay's Fabrizio Zanotti fired a second successive 68 to open a one-shot lead at the halfway stage of the French Open at Le Golf National.
After a first round that included an eagle, a double, birdies and bogeys, Zanotti's second round was rather more sedate with four birdies and a single bogey good enough to see him to the top of the leaderboard at six-under.
That is one stroke clear of three players, Danish duo Thomas Bjorn (69) and Soren Kjeldsen (68) and Richard Sterne (69) of South Africa.
A group of four Brits are nestled in just two strokes off the pace, former champion Graeme Storm and fellow Englishman Simon Dyson, Scotland's Stephen Gallacher and two-time winner this season Graeme McDowell all at four-under.
McDowell had missed the cut in five of his last six strokeplay appearances, but produced a measured display which mixed three birdies and a single bogey to push himself into contention.
Overnight leader Anders Hansen endured a forgettable day as he posted a seven-over-par 78 to drop back to two-over for the tournament, the same score as the likes of Martin Kaymer, Luke Donald and Ian Poulter.
Defending champ misses cut
Defending champion Marcel Siem carded a respectable 70, but that was not enough to undo the damage of his opening 78 as he failed to make the cut.
There were no such concerns for Zanotti, though, as he put himself in position to finally break his duck on the European circuit.
The 30-year-old from Asuncion has finished as runner-up on no fewer than three occasions - the most recent coming at the Irish Open last year.
Zanotti eclipsed Bjorn and Sterne who had posted the clubhouse target earlier in the day, making excellent progress on the front nine with birdies at one, three and then the ninth to reach the turn in 33 strokes.
His solitary bogey arrived at the 12th, but he responded by picking up a shot at the third and final par-five, the 14th, to ensure he would lead heading into day three.