Norway’s Jan-Are Larsen and Gareth Paddison of New Zealand were the only players threatening the leaders early on the second day at the Saint-Omer Open.
Having started the day on one under, 32-year-old Larsen posted two birdies and a bogey on the front nine to move to two under on aggregate.
However, another bogey at the par-three 11th kept him two shots off the lead after 14 holes.
Paddison, who carded a level-par 71 yesterday, pulled a shot back to be one under after 12 holes, having birdied the par-four 16th after teeing off from the 10th hole.
Fellow Scandinavian Roope Kakko, of Finland, was the overnight leader on three under after finishing the first round with a birdie, and was in the last group of the day to tee off.
Kakko’s compatriot, Mikko Korhonen, was tied for third on two under, alongside Englishman Marcus Higley.
Paul McGinley, who is yet to win this season and is looking unlikely to secure a Ryder Cup place, was set to tee off later in the afternoon and will be looking for an improved performance.
A three-over 74 opening round in yesterday’s pouring rain left him six shots off the lead, but he is not out of contention yet.