Moscow - Englishman David Horsey picked up four birdies over his final six holes to move two shots clear after the second round of the Russian Open on Friday.
The 29-year-old, who hasn't tasted a European victory since Morocco three years ago, carded a 68 to follow his opening round 65, as he carries a narrow advantage into the weekend over Belgian rookie Thomas Pieters.
He is now 11 under par on the par 72 Tseleevo Golf and Polo Club.
"I got off to a slow start but I managed to bounce back well," said Horsey. "I tried to do the same as yesterday and stick to my game and not worry about much else.
"Dropping a couple of shots early on is always disappointing, but I knew there'd be plenty of chances to come and I just needed to stay patient and keep giving myself putts for birdie."
Scotland's Pete Whiteford, who has missed the cut at his last eight tournaments, lies in third place and four shots back after a one under par 71 that at one point saw him four over par for the day.
"The start was shocking," admitted Whiteford. "The first tee shot was straight in the rubbish, and I was four over after five holes. But it was a good fightback.
"Strangely, I felt like I was swinging it better today, but there are still some absolutely wild ones in there which cost me today. The good shots are really good, but there are some calamities."
Leading second round scores from the European Tour Russian Open at the Tseleevo Golf & Polo Club on Friday (par 72):
133 - David Horsey (ENG) 65 68
135 - Thomas Pieters (BEL) 67 68
137 - Gary Boyd (ENG) 69 68, Peter Whiteford (SCO) 66 71
138 - Maximilian Kieffer (GER) 67 71, Gaganjeet Bhullar (IND) 67 71, Nacho Elvira (ESP) 69 69, Scott Jamieson (SCO) 66 72,
139 - Sam Hutsby (ENG) 72 67, Kevin Phelan (USA) 69 70, Fredrik Andersson Hed (SWE) 70 69
140 - Sam Walker (ENG) 69 71, Damien McGrane (IRL) 69 71, Jamie McLeary (SCO) 68 72, Javier Colomo (ESP) 72 68, Jack Doherty (SCO) 67 73, Edouard Dubois (FRA) 72 68, Mathias Gronberg (SWE) 70 70, Krister Eriksson (SWE) 72 68
141 - Carlos Del Moral (ESP) 70 71, Jack Wilson (AUS) 67 74, Carlos Pigem (ESP) 70 71, Louis de Jager (RSA) 67 74, Gunn Charoenkul (THA) 73 68
142 - Craig Lee (SCO) 72 70, Adrien Saddier (FRA) 69 73, Joachim B Hansen (DEN) 69 73, David Drysdale (SCO) 73 69