Rafa Cabrera-Bello, Martin Kaymer, and Victor Dubuisson are all tied for first place at 4-under at the conclusion of 36 holes at the Alstom Open de France in Paris.
Cabrera-Bello and Kaymer are both ranked in the top 40 of the current Race to Dubai standings. Kaymer and Dubuisson are both ranked in the top 40 in the world golf rankings.
Kaymer was the best of the three on Friday with his second straight 2-under 69. He would have had the lead outright except for an ugly double-bogey 6 on the par-4, 399-yard No. 15.
Cabrera-Bello and Dubuisson each shot a 1-under 70. Dubuisson is trying to become the first Frenchmen to win the Open in four years.
Five players are a single stroke back, including Englishmen James Morrison and Tyrrell Hatton, both of whom shot a 68 on the day.
Neither as as impressive as England’s Daniel Brooks, who had the day’s low round, a 5-under 66 to jump from 59th to tied for fourth. The 66 came despite three bogeys, thanks to three straight birdies in the front nine and an eagle 2 on the par-4, 383-yard No 10.
The 28-year-old Brooks has made just three cuts in 18 European Tour events this year, the last coming at Dubai in February. His lone win came at Madeira in 2014, a rain-shortened two-round event.
Friday was particularly painful to rain-shortened leader Maximillian Kieffer. Kieffer was 4-under through 14 when rain stopped play on Thursday. When he resumed his round on Friday, he bogeyed 17 and double bogeyed 18 to end the round just 1-under. He shot a second-round 70 to sit at 2-under, tied for ninth.
While some stragglers were finishing up late on Friday, the par is projected at 4-over. On the extreme wrong side of that figure is two-time defending champion Graeme McDowell, who crashed out to a 7-over 78 on Friday, a round filled with three bogeys, two double-bogeys and no birdies.