Carnoustie - England's Ross Fisher put himself in the frame to end a two-year winless drought with a round of 68 and ease a stroke clear on the second day of the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship.
Fisher, 35, managed seven birdies but also dropped three shots in cold and wet conditions on the Old Course at St. Andrews, one of three courses playing host to the event.
The former Ryder Cup star, who reached a high of 17 in the world late in 2009, last tasted success in capturing the 2014 Tshwane Open, his fifth European Tour win.
"The front nine here at St. Andrews is straight down wind so it plays relatively easy although the front pin is hard to get at," he said.
"And then you turn to the back nine and the wind's all into you from off the left.
"You're hanging on a little bit but if you still hit good shots, you can have birdie chances, and to shoot 4-under and get to 11, I'm obviously very, very pleased."
Sweden's Alex Noren, who led after day one with a course-record equalling 64 at Carnoustie, struggled at Kingsbarns with a one under par 71 for a share of second place at nine under par.
Noren, and a double Tour winner this season, played his worst and best holes back-to-back in posting a double bogey at the fifth but then holing his second shot in driving the green at the short downhill par four sixth.
He then joined Fisher atop of the board with a birdie at 16 but proceeded to bogey the closing two holes.
"It wasn't a nice way to finish but I'm happy," he said. "I played decent, and had a few 3-putts, long putts, but then did not have as much going for me today as yesterday, so overall I'm pleased".
Fellow Swede Joakim Lagergren capped his round early on at Kingsbarns when he eagled the par five third hole en route to a 68, and as the 20-year seeks a first Tour success.
Martin Kaymer is the best-placed of the six European Ryder Cup stars adding a 68 at Kingsbarns to his Carnoustie opening score of 71 to be sharing 12th place at five under par.
"I really had it going after seven holes, as I was five-under par but then made a stupid bogey on nine, so that was tough for the momentum," said Kaymer.
Ryder Cup team-mate Lee Westwood slumped to his worst Tour score in 14 years, carding a 10-over par 82 to be last in the 167-player field at 13-over par.
Westwood had failed to score a point in last week's Ryder Cup and ended his round double bogey, birdie, double bogey and triple bogey.
Bizarrely, it is Westwood's highest score since an 83 during the 2002 PGA Championship at Hazeltine and venue for last week's Ryder Cup.
Westwood was competing at Kingsbarns where there is a permanent marker in place on the ninth fairway to commemorate his albatross 'two' on his way to a then course record 62 and eventual victory in 2003.
Leading second round scores in the European Tour Alfred Dunhill Links
Championship at the Old Course St. Andrews, Carnoustie &
Kingsbarns, Scotland on Friday (GBR/IRL unless stated, par 72):
134 - Joakim Lagergren (SWE) 66 68
135 - Alex Noren (SWE) 64 71
137 - Tyrrell Hatton 67 70
138 - Richard Sterne (RSA) 69 69, Thomas Pieters (BEL) 70 68
139 - Richard Bland 70 69, Soren Kjeldsen (DEN) 71 68, Martin Kaymer (GER) 71 68, Bernd Wiesberger (AUT) 73 66
140 - Shane Lowry 72 68, Rafael Cabrera-Bello (ESP) 70 70
- Andrew Johnston 71 70, Richie Ramsay 70 71, Jordan Zunic (AUS) 70 71,
Chris Stroud (USA) 70 71, Graeme McDowell 74 67, George Coetzee (RSA)
133 - Ross Fisher 65 68
136 - Jbe Kruger (RSA) 68 68
138 - Joachim B. Hansen (DEN) 70 68, Ulrich Van Den Berg (RSA) 69 69, Marc Warren 72 66, Matt Ford 66 72
139 - Mike Lorenzo-Vera (FRA) 73 66, Tommy Fleetwood 72 67, Florian Fritsch (GER) 68 71
- Andrew McArthur 70 70, Alejandro Canizares (ESP) 68 72, Andrew Dodt
(AUS) 70 70, Borja Virto (ESP) 71 69, Paul Peterson (USA) 70 70
- Merrick Bremner (RSA) 73 68, Prom Meesawat (THA) 70 71, Eduardo De La
Riva (ESP) 71 70, Nicolas Colsaerts (BEL) 71 70, Erik Van Rooyen (RSA)
72 69, Julien Quesne (FRA) 72 69, Renato Paratore (ITA) 71 70
139 - Rikard Karlberg (SWE) 68 71
140 - Anthony Wall 71 69, Peter Hanson (SWE) 71 69, Lasse Jensen (DEN) 71 69, Y.E. Yang (KOR) 71 69
- Niclas Fasth (SWE) 72 69, Jaco Ahlers (RSA) 70 71, Robert Dinwiddie
73 68, David Horsey 72 69, Callum Shinkwin 67 74, Bradley Dredge 69 72