Shane Lowry is seven shots off the pace in his defence of the individual title in the European Nations Championship at Sotogrande.
Spain's Carlos Pigem Xammar added a sensational 65 to his first round 67 to lead by four shots on 132 at halfway from England's Luke Goddard with Lowry tied for seventh place on 139 after a second round 71.
Royal Dublin's Niall Kearney was the next best of the Irish side in joint ninth after a 72 left him on 140, while a 71 by Newland's Cian Curley helped Ireland remain in fourth place in the team standings as Alan Dunbar's 75 was discarded.
England leads by seven strokes on 411 from France and Spain with Ireland 13 strokes adrift on 428.
In the women's event, Italy leads by five shots from Spain with the Czech Republic's Lara Spilkova one- stoke clear in the individual competition on 143 after rounds of 73 and 70.