Northern Ireland’s Graeme McDowell secured a share of the clubhouse lead midway through the second round of the Austrian Open in Atzenbrugg.
McDowell, the US Open champion, birdied four of his first five holes to continue his rich vein of form in his last tournament before the Ryder Cup.
The 31-year-old then hit par on the last nine to leave him seven under par, enough to grab top spot alongside Spain’s Jose Manuel Lara.
On the opening day he recovered from a terrible start that saw him drop shots at the second and third to end the day as part of a large group at three under par.
“It’s very much the old cliche of a game of two halves at this golf course,” McDowell told the European Tour website.
“This front nine’s quite tricky and you’ve got to drive the ball unbelievably well to have any chance of making birdies.
“On the back nine it’s a lot more three woods and hybrids off the tees which offers you a few more opportunities and I think the greens are a little flatter as well.
“I think I’m two over par for the front nine and nine under par for the back nine overall so I certainly know where I need to make up some shots on the weekend.”
Lara was placed alongside him following a mixed round of four birdies and three bogeys in a 71.
Overnight leader George Coetzee slipped to six under after five holes having produced a double bogey at the second.