Luke Donald is tied at the top of the leaderboard after the PGA Championship second round at Wentworth.
The overnight leader carded a one-over 72 to end on six under and was joined by Spaniard Alvaro Quiros and Italian teenager Matteo Manassero (70).
Fellow Englishman David Horsey (68), Spain's Jose Manuel Lara (70) and South Africa's Thomas Aiken (67) were tied for fourth on four under.
England's Simon Dyson (68) is three under going into the weekend.
World number one Lee Westwood shot 69 to climb to one under as he seeks to defend his ranking by finishing above Donald. Germany's Martin Kaymer, who could also take over the top spot this week, ended three over.
On a day when Ian Poulter criticised the course for becoming too difficult after last year's changes, world number two Donald was unable to match his stunning opening 64 despite more favourable weather conditions.
But the 33-year-old Englishman was pleased to grind his way home in one under from the 11th after making three bogeys and a birdie in his first 10 holes.
"It was definitely tougher, the pins were harder to come by," said Donald, who has finished in the top 10 in his last eight tournaments and won the WGC Match Play in February.
"I didn't have the same control and I didn't expect to come out and play like yesterday. It's very hard to replicate that. But it was slightly disappointing that I didn't take advantage of some of the opportunities I had some of my bogeys were a bit weak."
Poulter, who double bogeyed the last to end with a 74 for level overall, said the course alterations had removed the fun from the course.
But Donald countered: "They made it very challenging, but as long as you come in with that mindset, knowing it's going to be tough, you shouldn't have any grumbles."
Northern Ireland's US Open champion, Graeme McDowell, had to wait until late in the evening to discover whether he had made it through to the third round on five over, but the cut fell at four over. Open champion Louis Oosthuizen (+8) and Masters winner Charl Schwartzel (+12) also missed out.
Rory McIlroy survived with nothing to spare, thanks to a birdie on the last.
Quiros finished with three straight birdies, including a chip-in on 17, to haul himself into a share of the lead, while Manassero picked up a shot at the last to make it a leading trio.
"I hit a few really bad shots from the tee but at the same time I holed two or three very long putts," said Quiros.
"I've been playing very safe, considering the bad weather and the greens, how hard and quick they are. It's a good strategy and is probably giving me bonuses without hitting the ball great."
Manassero, already a two-time winner after turning pro last year, said: "I'm happy, especially because I haven't played as well as yesterday but I still shoot under par which is important on a course like this.
"I've never led such a big event so it's going to be good fun and a great experience for me."
A large number of the field wore navy blue in honour of the late Seve Ballesteros, and Manassero added: "I think we can remember him every day. He was a genius. He stays in my heart and he has been my idol and he will always inspire me."
Darren Clarke (72) found the water at the last to end one under alongside 2009 USPGA champion YE Yang (70), while Ernie Els (68) and Paul Casey (71) finished one over.
Colin Montgomerie opened with three bogeys and added another at the ninth to slump to a 75 and slip back to two over after an encouraging first-round 69, as Rory McIlroy ended four over after a round of 70.
England's Justin Rose ran up a nine on the 17th to end with a 73 for six over.