Gonzalez leads at Gleneagles
Ricardo Gonzalez carded a second consecutive 65 to set a daunting clubhouse target in the Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles.
Gonzalez birdied his last five holes to finish 14 under par on the Centenary Course which will host next year's Ryder Cup, three shots ahead of England's Mark Foster.
The 43-year-old has won four times on the European Tour, but his last victory came in 2009 and he currently lies 109th on the Race to Dubai with only the top 115 at the end of the season retaining their playing privileges for 2014.
"It's a very important week for me because I have not played well at the start of the season," said Gonzalez, who has yet to record a single top-10 finish in 2013.
"To shoot two rounds of 65 is amazing. I had five weeks' rest to recharge my batteries but played 18 holes every day back home in Rosario. It's a good course for me as a long hitter but hitting it straight is very important."
Foster added a 67 to his opening 66 to finish 11 under par and admitted his search for a second European Tour victory 10 years after his first was always on his mind.
The 38-year-old from Worksop lost out in a five-man play-off in this event two years ago after a bogey on the 72nd hole and has let several other chances to win slip from his grasp.
"At the time it was not too bad, but as it went on I thought about it more, especially every time I step onto the 18th tee here now," said Foster, whose sole victory to date came after a six-man play-off in the Dunhill Championship in South Africa in 2003.
"I'm not one for regrets. I stayed positive and hit driver and just made a bad swing rather than choosing a bad club."
Speaking about his other near-misses, Foster added: "Nobody thinks about it more than me. If I knew what it was I would have put it right. There have been occasions when I could have won but I have to keep putting myself in position and see what happens."
Australia's Brett Rumford, winner of back-to-back tournaments in Korea and China earlier this season, was two shots behind Foster after a 69, while defending champion Paul Lawrie was another two strokes back following a 67.
"I hit it lovely and I am in there again," said Lawrie, whose win 12 months ago came after he had already sealed his place on the Ryder Cup team for Medinah.
"I think I will probably need a low weekend with the way the scoring is going but as long as you are in there you have a chance."
Ryder Cup captain Paul McGinley, who ruled himself out of qualifying for the team as a player next year after an opening 68, returned a second round of 71 to lie nine off the lead on five under.