England duo Mark Foster and Richard Finch shared a one-shot lead at the halfway mark of the Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles on Friday.
The 37-year-old Foster, who lost out in a five-man play-off for the title last year, shot a 68, while Finch posted a 67, to lead the field at 8-under 136.
“It’s been a while since I have been in this situation so I’m delighted to shoot a 67,” Finch said. “We had some downpours out there today, and I had a couple of three-putts, but it’s just nice to be up there leading.”
Scotland’s Paul Lawrie eagled his ninth hole en route to a 67 for a share of third place on 7-under with Australia’s Brett Rumford (70).
After finally ending a 13-year wait to again qualify for the Ryder Cup, Lawrie finds himself in contention for a second victory this year.
“I am not one who worries about things, but when you have not played in the Ryder Cup for that long, it’s got to be on your mind,” Lawrie said. “The Ryder Cup is still in the back of my mind, but these last couple of days I have been able to just stand up and pick my target and not worry too much about the Ryder Cup.”
Nicolas Colsaerts of Belgium kept alive his chance of automatically qualifying for the European Ryder Cup team with a second-round 70 for a share of seventh place on 5-under and only three shots behind the leaders.
Colsaerts, who needs to finish first or second to qualify automatically, capped his round with three birdies over his closing five holes.
“I feel pretty good, because it wasn’t a convincing round until a couple of holes from the end,” he said. “I didn’t feel as loose as Thursday as I had a couple of bad breaks early on, but I finished in good fashion.”