The Dutchman Robert-Jan Derksen saw a four-stroke lead disappear at the Alstom French Open yesterday, only for Alejandro Canizares' late double-bogey to put him two strokes back in front.
Derksen added only a level-par 71 to his sparkling opening 63, and Canizares – the son of former Ryder Cup hero Jose-Maria – birdied three of his first six holes. However the Spaniard double-bogeyed the 17th to leave Derksen two clear again – and shortly afterwards play was suspended because of an approaching thunderstorm.
As for 44-year-old Jean van de Velde, who was the story of the first day with a 66 in only his second event of the year, he double-bogeyed the opening hole and so fell five behind.
Lee Westwood, meanwhile, kept alive his hopes at three under, but was limping badly at the end of his round of 69. Westwood came back well from bogeying the 17th for the second day running and then hitting his tee shot into the water on the short second, but the leg injury which made him doubtful before the start – he even went to hospital to check whether he had a blood clot – was taking its toll. "It just gets sore as the day goes on," said the world No 3, whose main focus is The Open in two weeks.
Ian Poulter, whose place in the event was also in question after his leg swelled up following an insect bite on Monday, improved five shots on his opening 72 to be three under at halfway as well.