Former world number one Martin Kaymer fired a second-round 70 to stay within one shot of the lead as he looks for a first win in seven years at the Austrian Open, while Paul Dunne leads the quartet of Irish contenders seven shots from the summit.
The German was top of the global rankings this time 10 years ago, eight months after claiming a first major at the US PGA Championship.
The putt to ensure Europe retained the Ryder Cup at the 'Miracle of Medinah' in 2012 and a second major triumph at the US Open in 2014 followed, but Kaymer has been absent from the winner's circle since that eight-shot win at Pinehurst.
He said coming into this week in Atzenbrugg that he felt ready to win again on the European Tour - as well as trying to earn a place in Padraig Harrington's Ryder Cup team - and a second-round 70 left him at six under after 36 holes, one shot behind Spanish leader Alejandro Canizares.
Canizares joined Kaymer in shooting a 70, a score also matched by American John Catlin, who shared second.
While Dunne heads the Irish quartet for a second consecutive day on level par after a second-round 71, Cormac Sharvin matched that score to move up to two over.
Gavin Moynihan and Jonathan Caldwell both missed the cut on eight over after carding a 75 and 73 respectively.
Kaymer had a good chance to join the lead on the par-three 18th but could not hole from inside 10 feet, having to settle for five birdies and three bogeys.
"I would rather lead the tournament but I think it was a decent start to the golf tournament, I would say," he told europeantour.com.
"Today I missed a few opportunities and a couple of silly mistakes unfortunately happened, so I can build on my solid play and hopefully I can avoid a couple of mistakes over the weekend."
Canizares dropped three shots in his opening two holes but recovered with seven birdies, while Catlin made four gains with two dropped shots.
South African Justin Walters was at five under, a shot clear of England's Richard Mansell and two ahead of Scot David Drysdale.