Lucas Herbert carded the joint-lowest round of his career to hold a share of the lead with Bryson DeChambeau at the halfway mark in the Dubai Desert Classic.
Australian Herbert set the tone by starting with an eagle at the Emirates Golf Club on Friday and went on to sign for a scintillating nine-under 63.
Herbert, eyeing a maiden European Tour title, heads into the weekend on 12 under following a magnificent blemish-free second round.
The world number 86 got under way on the back nine with a three at the 10th, then maintained his momentum with successive birdies before picking up another shot at 16.
He made another four gains after the turn to take the sole lead before he was joined by American DeChambeau.
DeChambeau is ominously poised after back-to-back six-under rounds of 66; the second including an eagle and three bogeys.
The world number five finished with consecutive birdies, moving him a shot clear of legendary veteran Ernie Els and 2011 champion Alvaro Quiros.
Els, who won the first of his three Dubai Desert Classic titles 25 years ago, also eagled the 10th as he shot a 65, while Quiros had claimed the clubhouse lead with an impressive 64.
Defending champion Li Haotong is a further stroke back alongside Callum Shinkwin, Matthieu Pavon, Matt Wallace and Jason Scrivener, with overnight leader Matt Fitzpatrick nine under.