Padraig Harrington carded a 69 to leave him sitting just three shots off the lead at the Scottish Championship.
The Dubliner is on nine under par in a tie for fifth heading into the weekend rounds at Fairmont St Andrews.
Fellow Irish challenger Jonathan Caldwell is one shot further back on eight under, while Cormac Sharvin and Gavin Moynihan miss the cut after finishing on one over.
Harrington carded four birdies, with a bogey on the 10th his only blemish on a strong day two.
England's Matt Wallace carded an impressive five-under 67 to join Adrian Otaegui at the top of the leaderboard.
Wallace, 30, took advantage of favourable morning conditions to continue his impressive form by firing six birdies and just one bogey to reach 12 under par.
The world number 51 shares the halfway lead with Otaegui after the Spaniard followed up his opening round of 62 with a 70 on Friday.
Englishman Aaron Rai - a winner of the Scottish Open a fortnight ago - is one shot back, with France's Adrien Saddier in fourth on 10-under par.
Wallace's impressive displays over the opening two days came in the presence of Harrington, Europe's captain for next year's rearranged Ryder Cup at Whistling Straits.
"It's good that I've done that in front of him but I'm not sure it'll make much difference to Padraig," said Wallace, a four-time European Tour winner.
"He will want players to be in there on merit and then if it comes down to a pick then he'll want someone that's in form.
"I'm taking in some good form from the last few weeks without posting any numbers so hopefully I can do that this week."
Lee Westwood carded a 70 and is among a cluster of players who are five shots off the lead.