Peter Lawrie continued his steady start to the Hero Indian Open as he carded a one under par 70 in his second round at Delhi Golf Club.
As in his opening round, Dubliner Lawrie started day two by picking up a shot on the first, before making par on the next 10 holes and a birdie on the 14th.
However a dropped shot on the 14th, and an angonisingly close birdie miss on the 18th, left him at three under for the tournament and tied for ninth place.
Lawrie is seven shots off the lead of SSP Chawrasia, who along with fellow course specialists Siddikur Rahman demonstrated the advantage of local knowledge to set the pace at the halfway stage of the tournament.
Chawrasia has won twice at Delhi Golf Club, including his maiden European Tour title in 2008, and has yet to card a single bogey this week after rounds of 65 and 67.
That gave the 36-year-old a halfway total of 10 under par, one shot ahead of Bangladesh’s Rahman, who won the event in 2013 before it became co-sanctioned and is a collective 115 under for his last 46 rounds at the venue.
Chawrasia said: “I’m playing very well the last two days. I’ve played here many times so I know how to play on this course; this is the first time I’m bogey-free after 36 holes.
“I feel good and aggressive — I will do the same on the last two days. I’m very happy because I saved a lot of pars; it wasn’t easy to keep the bogeys away from my card, I had to make a lot of saves.
“It is tough when the wind changes direction but I know how to handle it here. I played well through the 2014 season and I started well this year as well, so I’m feeling very confident. I’m very excited for the next two days.”
World number 267 Rahman, who has only finished outside the top 10 once in 11 events on the tight, tree-lined course, carded six birdies, one bogey and one double bogey in his 68.
He said: “I was a little bit disappointed with my double bogey because I had a good number of birdies. I really enjoy playing here and I want to keep the same rhythm in the next two rounds. You will definitely have some pressure but I always try my best to avoid it.”
Sweden's Joakim Lagergren and Thailand's Chapchai Nirat had shared the overnight lead with Chawrasia and Rahman but could only manage matching rounds of 71 to lie four shots off the pace on six under.
England's Richard McEvoy birdied four of his last five holes to card a 67 and finish five under alongside American Paul Peterson, who had five birdies and two bogeys in a 68.
A hole-in-one on the fifth, for which he won a motorcycle, helped Prayad Marksaeng return a round of 70 and finish on four under alongside home favourite Anirban Lahiri.
Lahiri was four over par after a quadruple-bogey eight on his 10th hole on Thursday, but battled back to shoot 73 and surged back into contention with a 65 on Friday.
The world number 39, who won the Malaysian Open a fortnight ago, carded nine birdies and three bogeys, while playing partner Miguel Angel Jimenez had to settle for a 71 to remain one under after an erratic round containing six birdies, four bogeys and a double bogey.