Sam Horsfield kept up his excellent form since the resumption of the European Tour by shooting a seven-under-par 64 to take a one-stroke lead after the second round of the Celtic Classic.
Australian Jake McLeod, who was one behind first-round leader Thomas Pieters, is three behind Horsfield after shooting 69.
The Queenslander is tied for sixth, with Belgian Pieters one behind Horsfield.
Horsfield has been one of the leading players on the so-called UK Swing over the past month, having won the Hero Open and earning a top-10 finish in the British Masters.
With an eagle at the par-five 18th hole, the Englishman moved to 11-under for the tournament being held at Celtic Manor, the venue for the 2010 Ryder Cup.
Pieters had the chance to retain the lead after heading to the last tied with Horsfield, but he made bogey to drop into outright second place with a 68 on Friday.
Andrew Johnston, better known by his nickname "Beef," finished eagle-birdie-birdie-birdie to complete a wild round of 66 that began with a triple bogey and contained seven birdies in all.
Johnston was tied for third - two shots off the lead on nine-under overall - with Thomas Detry (66) and Callum Shinkwin (65).
The Celtic Classic is the fourth event of the six-week UK Swing, taking place in an isolated environment, after the tour resumed following a five-month stoppage because of the coronavirus outbreak.