Former major winners John Daly and Rich Beem found themselves within two shots of the lead at the Sicilian Open on Friday as a bottleneck built up at the Verdura Golf Resort.
No fewer than 25 players ended the second day within two shots of the lead which was shared by six players.
Former US PGA Championship winner Beem had a second straight 69 for a six under halfway total, while Daly charged into a share of the lead before dropping two shots in his last three holes.
"Anybody can win this tournament, because there are so many players close to the lead," said Daly. "So that makes it really exciting."
With just five shots between the leading group on eight under par and the cut line on three under, the tournament equalled the European Tour record for the fewest number of strokes between the two marks.
Maarten Lafeber was one of the six players on top of the leaderboard at the halfway stage.
The 37-year-old Dutchman carded a second straight 68 to join Jamie Donaldson, David Lynn, Pelle Edberg, Simon Wakefield and first-round leader Peter Lawrie on eight under par.
Lafeber took the outright lead with his seventh birdie of the day at the 17th, only to then bogey the final hole.
"The bogey on the last was disappointing, but I made a bad swing and if you do that then you get punished," he said.
The leading six have just three European Tour titles between them -- Lawrie's win at the 2008 Spanish Open was the most recent; Lynn and Lafeber's only victories came in 2004 and 2003 respectively.