Jonathan Caldwell is the highest-placed Irishman after the second round of action at the British Masters.

The Co Down native followed up Wednesday's round of 67 at Close House with a 69 on day two to finish on six under, five shots adrift of leader Renato Paratore.

Bogeys for Caldwell on the first and second holes were mitigated by birdies on the seventh, 10th, 13th and 18th holes.

Paul Dunne is five behind Caldwell on one under after carding a 70. The Greystones golfer, who won the 2017 edition of the tournament, managed three birdies, but bogeys on the 11th and 16th meant he picked up just one shot on day two.

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Dunne will be around for the weekend however as he finished on -1, one shot about the cut-off point of level par. 

Cormac Sharvin misses out after was left sitting on +1 after a 70, while Gavin Moynihan's second round 76 left him on +7.

Paratore carded birdies on the first and 14th holes as well as each of the three par-fives, with his eagle attempt on the 17th stopping inches short of the cup.

The 23-year-old completed a bogey-free opening 36 holes to sit at 11-under overall, one shot clear of England's Dale Whitnell and South African Justin Harding.

"I played really solid, especially the short game," said Paratore, whose only previous European Tour title came at the Nordea Masters in Sweden three years ago.

"I saved some shots when I needed it, so I'm very happy with my game," he added. "I like to play every week so for me it's great being back."

Whitnell sank an eagle putt on his penultimate hole to sign for a 64 and get to 10 under while Harding moved alongside him late in the afternoon after posting the week's best score of 63.

Former world number one Westwood made the cut on one under following a 71, as did Spanish veteran Miguel Angel Jimenez who was three under for the tournament on his record-equalling 706th European Tour appearance.