Australia's Nathan Holman continued his brilliant start to the 2016 season to claim the halfway lead in the inaugural Maybank Championship Malaysia in Kuala Lumpur.

Paul McGinley, Niall Turner, Darren Clarke and Michael Hoey were outside the projected cut. McGinley sat on one over for the tournament, with Corkman Turner two shots further back. Clarke and Hoey finsihed on six over.

Holman had played just 15 European Tour events coming into the new campaign but claimed a maiden win at the Australian PGA Championship in December and went on to secure top-40 finishes in Qatar and Dubai.

And the 24-year-old from Melbourne carried on where he left off at Royal Selangor Golf Club, adding a 65 to his opening 64 to reach 13 under par, two shots ahead of England's Richard Bland.

"I think today's round was just as good," said the world number 176, who responded to dropping his first shot of the week on the 14th with a hat-trick of birdies.

"In the afternoon the conditions were a little bit harder and seeing your name up the top of that leaderboard can bring on some nerves but it was nice to be able to play really well and it was good fun to finish with a few birdies.

"I've been working hard on the putting for two weeks now, just on the alignment, and as soon as that got good it was really nice to start seeing the ball roll and holing some putts.

"After winning at home my next aim was to win a tournament overseas, so it's great to have the chance to tick that one off the list so soon. Then looking further ahead, getting into the top 100 in the world rankings is a realistic aim."

Bland, who is still seeking a first European Tour title in his 378th event, has yet to drop a shot after adding a flawless 65 to his opening 66.

"I'm very pleased obviously," the 43-year-old said. "To go round here without dropping a shot in two days takes some doing. Hopefully I can continue the run going over the weekend.

"I've struck my irons as well as I have for some time. I also picked up a new TaylorMade driver in Dubai and it's added 15 yards to my drives. When you've got a shorter club in your hand, you can try to be a bit more aggressive. Pretty much after my first shot with it, I decided to throw the old one away."

England's Danny Willett, Korea's Soomin Lee, Spain's Jorge Campillo and Miguel Tabuena of the Philippines share third place on eight under par, with Willett revealing he was suffering from the flu in pursuit of back-to-back wins following his victory in the Dubai Desert Classic a fortnight ago.

"I'm struggling a bit with my body," the world number 13 said after a 69. "My energy levels collapsed on the back nine and I started making a few silly mistakes. I'm going to see the physio then catch up on some rest, because I'm feeling very tired.

"But the flags were also quite tricky today and the wind's picking up a bit, so I can't see the scoring being too ridiculous. And I would've taken eight under after two rounds.

"I probably hit four or five different tee shots to what I did yesterday, mainly due to the wind direction and also the pin positions. It's a brilliant golf course in that respect, because you don't have to move the tees around too much to change the hole, if you change the flags it can still affect what you do from the tee.

"I love the design. You can still be aggressive and take the hole on if you want, but if you hit it in the rough you lose all control for your second shot. So it really makes you think out there."

Former world number one Martin Kaymer, who had hoped a recent holiday had "cleared his head," missed the halfway cut by three shots after a 73 left him two over par.