Lumbres, France – Robert Dinwiddie fired a 5-under 66 on Friday to jump into a share of the lead with Tjaart van der Walt at the Najeti Hotels et Golfs Open.
Van der Walt (71) held a 3-stroke lead over Dinwiddie with seven holes to play, but tripped to three bogeys over that span to meet Dinwiddie at 4-under- par 138.
Simon Wakefield and Chris Hanson carded matching 3-under 68s during their second round at Aa Saint Omer Golf Club to join Victor Riu (71) in a tie for third at 3-under, while Seve Benson matched the low round of the day with a 6- under 65 to join a group of seven players occupying sixth at minus-2.
Benson is joined by Jeppe Huldahl (67), Daniel Vancsik (67), Baptiste Chapellan (68), Daniel Brooks (71), Justin Walters (69) and Daniel Gaunt (70).
Dinwiddie went out with the early wave and opened his bogey-free round with four straight pars before reeling off three birdies over a four-hole span from the 14th to move to 2-under for the tournament.
After parring his next five holes, he snapped the streak with a birdie at the fifth and picked up another shot at the eighth to reach 4-under. He closed with a par to take the clubhouse lead.
"I played really steady so I'm happy," said Dinwiddie. "I know the course very well and I have a lot of good feelings around here. I did not think I would be leading after the afternoon, but I knew I was in a good position no matter what."
Van der Walt, who held the lead at the end of the first round, started on the front nine a bit later and quickly moved ahead of Dinwiddie with a birdie at the first to reclaim the outright lead.
He then added a pair of birdies at the fifth and sixth to move three clear of Dinwiddie.
The South African traded a bogey at the ninth with a birdie at the 10th to remain at 7-under, but he would fall apart from there as he stumbled to bogeys at Nos. 12, 15 and 17 to fall back into a tie with Dinwiddie entering the weekend.
"I didn't hit bad shots but my chipping around the greens was not great and all my bogeys were from next to the green," van der Walt said about his late struggles. "I'm still optimistic for the weekend. If I can keep striking the ball well and get my wedge to work a bit better, who knows what can happen."
NOTES: Van der Walt and Dinwiddie are both seeking their first career win on the European Tour ... The cut line was set at 3-over-par 145, with 68 players advancing to the weekend ... Dawie Van Der Walt was the only 2013 winner in the field, but he could not recover from a 6-over 77 in his first round and missed the cut ... The winner of this event receives a 1-year exemption to the European Tour. Co-sanctioned by the European Tour and the Challenge Tour, this is the only dual-ranking tournament of the 2013 season on the European Tour.