A second round of two-under-par 70 saw Michael Hoey stay within touching distance of the leaders at the Hassan Trophy in Morocco.
The 2012 champion is tied for eighth on six under, eight shots behind leader Alejandro Canizares and seven adrift of second placed Seve Benson.
Hoey began his round with a birdie at the 10th, his opening hole of the day and followed that up with an eagle on 15 and another birdie at the 17th to turn in four under 32.
The back nine proved more difficult for the Galgorm GC attached professional who recorded two birdies mixed in with four dropped shots in a back nine of 38.
Damien McGrane and Shane Lowry made it through to the weekend on one under par.
Kevin Phelan, Paul McGinley, Simon Thornton, Peter Lawrie and David Higgins all missd the cut.
Halfway leader Alejandro Cañizares is hoping to return to winning ways at the Trophée Hassan II.
Cañizares won on only his third start as an affiliate member at the 2006 Russian Open, but has now played almost 200 events without adding a second trophy to his cabinet.
“Thanks for reminding me!” he said about the long wait for his second win.
“I feel great – my game is definitely there so I just need to get in the groove again.
“If I don’t overthink things and just let them happen, hopefully I will continue to play well and enjoy the weekend.
“It was a pity I bogeyed the 17th because that is a birdie hole, but overall I am very happy to be leading.”
at the moment and very excited for the weekend.”