A Frenchman, Gregory Bourdy is at 12-under par. England’s Mark Foster is at 11-under par.
And three players – Italian, Lorenzo Gagli, England’s Paul Waring and Ireland’s looming Padraig Harrington – are at 10-under par.
Bourdy breezed firstly to a two stroke clubhouse lead on day two of the Euro 2m event before ending his round one clear of his rivals with the 30-year old Bordeaux born Bourdy adding a five under par 67 to Thursday’s opening 65.
The affable Frenchmn capped his round early with a second hole eagle and then a third hole birdie.
He dropped a shot at the fourth but then picked up four birdies in six holes from the sixth before a further two bogeys at the 11th and 14th holes ahead of a 17th hole birdie that took Bourdy to 12-under par.
“I have played so well these two days and especially as it is not easy to play well in a second round after having a really low first round,” he said.
“I went out there looking to start really well and to eagle the second and then to birdie the third was a real bonus.
“The bogeys came from some missed shots but I stayed confident and in the present and that’s why I made a good birdie at 17, so I am very happy to be minus five today.”
Bourdy’s 36-hole opening tally is his lowest in relation to par since he was 14-under par after two rounds of the 2008 Estoril Open and resulted in the second of his three Tour victories.
And with his three wins Bourdy has started low over the first two days.
Bourdy recorded first two rounds scores of 69 and 68 in capturing his maiden Tour event, the 2007 Majorca Classic.
He then shot opening scores of 63 and 65 on route to capturing the 2008 Estoril Open while he recorded rounds of 64 and 67 in progressing to win the 2009 Hong Kong Open.
“These two rounds so far this week after better than my two rounds in winning Majorca, Estoril or Hong Kong,” he said.
”But while I can’t explain why I have gone low in winning my three Tour titles. I feel as though I am much more mature player now and have the ability better to handle everything that goes with shooting low scores, and winning bigger tournaments.”
And Bourdy indicated he benefitted from a decision to change putters this week to a Scotty Cameron Concept One Super GSS Insert putter recording 28 putts on the opening day and 27 on day two.
Gagli carded a 66 ended the round sharing third with his score just one stroke less than his best ever Tour score.
The 26-year old Florence golfer has won three times on the secondary Challenge Tour and went close to a first main Tour win in finishing runner-up to England’s Lee Slattery in last year’s Madrid Masters.
“My putter has been the key to these two rounds so I am pleased with my putting,” he said.
“But I like links golf because it’s another kind of golf, and we have to try and make a few low running shots. So that’s good.”
And for the former Italian Amateur champion was just as delighted with Italy’s Euro 2012 efforts in downing Germany the night before to win through to Sunday’s final.
“Yes, it was a great win and I hope we can win the final,” he said.
“With Pirio and Balotelli, we have a good team and a good chance to win.”
Mcilroy again had World No. 7 tennis girlfriend, Caroline Wozinacki out supporting him for a second day and with McIlroy adding a 69 to his opening 70 to move to five under par.
“It felt okay today and I feel like I played solid out there,” said McIlroy.
“I probably could have holed a few more putts if I’m honest but I just struggled a little bit getting the speed of the greens.
“But, overall, it was decent round, and something to build on for the weekend.”
In contrast, playing partner and PGA Champion, Keegan Bradley was returning home to Florida early with the assurance he will miss the expected two under par cut off mark with rounds of 73 and 71 for a level par tally.
Included in Bradley’s second day’s play was six birdies, including four in succession, but three bogeys and a 10th hole double bogey.
“I loved coming here but just wish I could have played a little better,” he said.
“I just didn’t play the par fives really well, and also lost a couple of balls, and that’s not good.”
Bradley’s next event is Thursday’s starting Greenbrier Classic in West Virginia before returning to Europe for the July 19th commencing British Open.