Higgins takes Turin lead
David Higgins, who has just one top-three finish in more than 200 European Tour events, claimed the clubhouse lead at the Italian Open.
Irealnd's Higgins added a 69 to his opening 67 in Turin to post a halfway total of 136, eight under par, two shots ahead of South African Hennie Otto, France's Julien Quesne, England's Seve Benson and Italian amateur Renato Paratore.
The world number 684 said: "I didn't hit it as close as yesterday but if you keep hitting the fairways on this course you can manage it and get a lot of opportunities and I am good at doing that.
"I didn't realise I was leading but it's nice. I am sure I will be in the hunt when the afternoon guys finish. This is a good course for me, if I play well I have a good chance.
"A lot of the other courses are very long and I am trying to hit it over corners, but this one is about hitting it down the middle all day long and I'm good at that."
Former European number one Retief Goosen had earlier continued to impress on his return from a four-month injury lay-off as fellow veteran Jose Maria Olazabal moved into contention for a first win since 2005.
Two-time US Open champion Goosen withdrew from the Players Championship at Sawgrass in May with a back injury, which turned out to be a stress fracture.
The 44-year-old admitted he had no idea where the ball was going to go ahead of his competitive return, revealing he lost four balls in a practice round on Tuesday.
But after exceeding his own expectations with an opening round of 70, the South African added a second round of 72 in Turin to finish two under par and safely make the halfway cut.
Former Ryder Cup captain Olazabal, whose last European Tour win came in the Mallorca Classic eight years ago, was faring even better after adding a 68 to his opening 71 to lie five under par.
The 47-year-old said: "Yesterday was a battling day, I didn't hit the ball well at all and just managed to get my way in with a decent score. Today I hit the ball a little better. I still made a few mistakes but it was a better day."
Former Open champion David Duval was set to miss the halfway cut despite improving by five shots on his opening 75.
Duval, who is now ranked 1,550th in the world, started on the back nine and birdied the 10th, 12th and 14th to get back to level par and was on course to qualify for the final two rounds when he also birdied the first.
However, the 41-year-old dropped shots at the third and sixth and had to settle for a 70 that left him one over par, two shots outside the projected cut.