Rabat - Italian rookie Francesco Laporta, who came out of qualifying school last November, opened a one-shot lead at the Trophee Hassan II on Friday after a second round of 70.
Playing on the tough Red Course at Royal Golf Dar Es Salam, the 25-year-old went into day two with a share of the lead at four under after an opening 68.
His efforts on Friday allowed him to edge ahead of Australia's Jason Scrivener, Spaniard Borja Virto Astudillo and Jeunghun Wang of South Korea.
"It's going to be exciting at the weekend," said Laporta. "It should be a great experience and I'm looking forward to it. It was just a really solid display and I enjoyed it."
Astudillo had set the clubhouse target at five under in the morning but Laporta soon moved past that with birdies on the tenth and 12th.
A bogey on the 13th was followed by a double on the 14th but he then made three birdies in four holes to turn in 35 and take the lead.
Another gain on the second opened up a two-shot lead and he then missed birdie chances in a run of five pars before a missed short par putt on the eighth saw his advantage reduced.
For the first time, the men's and women's European tours are playing at the same course with the LPGA's Lalla Meryem Cup taking place on the neighbouring Blue Course.
Florentyna Parker leads after a second round 71. At six under par, the 26-year-old Englishwoman is two strokes ahead of compatriot Liz Young and Frenchwoman Isabelle Boineau, with Norwegian Marianne Skarpnord also four under after 17 holes.
Leading second round scores in the European Tour's Trophee Hassan II
at Royal Golf Dar Es Salam, Rabat on Friday (GBR/IRL unless stated, par
138 - Francesco Laporta (ITA) 68 70
139 - Jason Scrivener (AUS) 68 71, Jeunghun Wang (KOR) 71 68, Borja Virto Astudillo (ESP) 69 70
140 - Daniel Im (USA) 71 69, Zander Lombard (RSA) 70 70, Peter Lawrie 71 69
141 - Adrien Saddier (FRA) 69 72, Gary King 71 70
- Jose-Filipe Lima (POR) 72 70, Kristopher Mueck (AUS) 72 70,
Christiaan Bezuidenhout (RSA) 72 70, Scott Henry 71 71, Joshua White 73
69, Jack Senior 72 70, Nacho Elvira (ESP) 71 71
143 - Faycal
Serghini (MAR) 71 72, Callum Shinkwin 74 69, Mikko Korhonen (FIN) 70 73,
Seve Benson 72 71, Paul Peterson (USA) 71 72, Chris Hanson 72 71,
Alejandro Canizares (ESP) 71 72, Clement Berardo (FRA) 70 73
Lukas Nemecz (AUT) 77 67, Estanislao Goya (ARG) 69 75, Richard McEvoy
73 71, Andrew Johnson (USA) 70 74, Oliver Fisher 74 70, Robert Rock 74
70, David Dixon 73 71, Kevin Phelan 70 74, Adrian Otaegui (ESP) 74 70,
Nino Bertasio (ITA) 72 72