The Mansfield golfer battled blustery conditions to card his second successive round of 67, parring the first eight holes as he started on the back nine.
He finally got a birdie putt to drop at the 18th and picked up four more shots on the front nine, while giving one back at the sixth.
That put the 40-year-old on eight under, alongside first round leader Will Claxton and a red-hot Daniel Summerhays, who stormed to the top of the leaderboard with the best round of the tournament so far - a 65.
The 29-year-old American was four under for the round after just seven holes and capped a seven-birdie effort with a three at the 18th.
Chris Stroud carded a six-birdie 66 to lie just one shot off the pace, while Sweden's Richard S Johnson roared into contention with a 66 that included five birdies in six holes on the outward half.
European Ryder Cup captain Jose Maria Olazabal made the cut with nothing to spare despite an erratic 72.
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