Simon Thornton on nine under par is in a share of the lead at the half-way mark at the Italian Open in Turin.

Thornton carded six birdies in his round, including one at the last for a score of 67. Joining him at the head of affairs are Felip Aguilar and Francesco Molinari who had rounds of 66 and 67 respectively.

Kerry's David Higgins is a shot further back on eight under after posting a 69.

Damien McGrane is next best of the Irish on four under. 

Higgins has just one top-three finish to his credit in more than 200 European Tour events feels the course suits his game.

The world number 684 said: "I didn't hit it as close as yesterday but if you keep hitting the fairways on this course you can manage it and get a lot of opportunities and I am good at doing that.

"This is a good course for me, if I play well I have a good chance. A lot of the other courses are very long and I am trying to hit it over corners, but this one is about hitting it down the middle all day long and I'm good at that."

Former Ryder Cup captain Jose Maria Olazabal, whose last European Tour win came in the Mallorca Classic eight years ago, is four off the lead on five under after adding a 68 to his opening 71 to lie five under par.

The 47-year-old said: "Yesterday was a battling day, I didn't hit the ball well at all and just managed to get my way in with a decent score. Today I hit the ball a little better. I still made a few mistakes but it was a better day."

Two-time US Open winner Retief Goosen is two under on his return to action following a four-month injury lay-off with a stress fracture to his back, but former Open champion David Duval missed the halfway cut by two despite improving by five shots on his opening 75.