In tough scoring conditions on Friday, Marcel Siem posted his second straight 3-under 68 to take a 1-shot lead after 36 holes of the Open de France.
Siem, the 2004 dunhill championship winner, finished two rounds at 6-under-par 136. He has missed both majors so far this season, but has four top-7 finishes on the European Tour.
Alexander Noren carded a 4-under 67 to move into second place at minus-5.
Anders Hansen and George Coetzee both shot 3-under 68 and share third at 4- under-par 138.
Raphael Jacquelin (71), David Lynn (72) and Francesco Molinari (68) are tied for fifth place at minus-3.
First-round leader Christian Nilsson struggled to a 4-over 75, which dropped him into a tie for eighth at 2-under-par 140. Nilsson mixed six bogeys and two birdies in his round of 75.
Siem played the back nine on the Albatross Course at Le Golf National first on Friday. After four straight pars to open his round, he birdied the 14th. Siem faltered to a double bogey at 17 to fall back to 2-under.
After returning from a weather delay, the German started to make his move back up the leaderboard with a birdie on the first.
Siem birdied the par-5 third for the second day in a row. He moved to 5-under with a birdie on No. 5. Siem then birdied the seventh and parred the final two holes.
"If you shoot a few under on the golf course, it doesn't matter what are the conditions, it's a good score," Siem admitted. "I've shot two times 3-under now, so I'm very happy and I hope I keep it going like that."
Noren had eight pars and a birdie on his front nine. He birdied the 11th for the second straight day to get to minus-3.
The Swede, who won twice last year, grabbed a share of the lead as he poured in three consecutive birdie chances from the 14th. Noren faltered to a bogey at the last after finding water to fall one back.
"It was tough the first nine holes, and then we got really lucky on the back nine," Noren said. "I hit a lot of fairways and a lot of greens, and then got a lot of good putts on the back nine coming in, so it was a steady round and I'm really pleased."
World No. 3 Lee Westwood struggled to a 2-over 73, which included three penalty drops, to slide into a share of 30th at 1-over 143.
NOTES: The second round was completed despite an 80-minute weather delay on Friday...The eight highest-ranked players in the field made the cut, with world No. 34 Molinari being closest to the lead among those eight...The cut fell at 3-over-par 145 with 70 players moving on to the weekend...Among those that missed the cut were British Open champ Darren Clarke, Colin Montgomerie, 2011 champion Thomas Levet, Alvaro Quiros, Miguel Angel Jimenez and Paul Casey.