England's Robert Rock leads the Reale Seguros Spanish Open after a bright start to his second round in Seville today.
Back from a month-long lay-off, the man who beat Tiger Woods and world top three Luke Donald, Rory McIlroy and Lee Westwood in Abu Dhabi l
While Rock resumed with a birdie and improved to five-under-par, overnight pacesetter Shaun Micheel double-bogeyed the short 11th, his second hole of the morning.
The American, winner of the USPGA Championship in 2003 but now 608th in the world and without a full card on the PGA Tour, did hit back with a birdie, however, and was in joint second place with Scot Gary Orr and McIlroy's former Walker Cup team-mate Danny Willett.
Colin Montgomerie and Miguel Angel Jimenez, at 48 two of the oldest players in the field, were both struggling to survive the halfway cut.
Montgomerie resumed with back-to-back bogeys to join fellow Scot Paul Lawrie on six over, while home favourite Jimenez, yet to win his national title, followed an opening bogey with a double bogey and with a further dropped shot on the 15th - his sixth - he was seven over and only joint 134th of the 156 players.
Only the leading 65 and ties go through to the final two rounds and the cut-off mark looked likely to be around three or four over.
After six pars in a row Rock bogeyed the difficult short 17th, and although only one off the lead as a result he was down into a tie for fourth.
Micheel made it a hat-trick of birdies from the 11th before bogeying the next and was joined on five under by England's Graeme Storm, who had three birdies in his first five holes, and Spain's Challenge Tour graduate Jorge Campillo.
Rock was alongside Orr, Willett and also 19-year-old Italian Matteo Manassero, twice a winner on the European Tour already and runner-up on his last trip to Spain for the Andalucian Open in March.
Campillo, a 25-year-old from Caceres north of Seville, had the thrill of leading his home Spanish Open on his own when he had three birdies in five holes from the 12th.
Playing in the event for the third time, he was six under and one in front of Micheel and Storm, while Rock was three behind after another bogey at the 18th, his ninth.
Jimenez's hoping of winning the title 100 years after its first staging appeared to be over. The 48-year-old, who made his debut way back in 1988 when Campillo had not even had his second birthday, was eight over with four to play.