THOMAS BJORN moved a shot clear of the field at 8-under at the World Cup of Golf in Australia after a second-round 68 yesterday.
The Dane held a share of the lead with Kevin Streelman after the first day's action, but the American could only manage a round of 69 on Friday at Royal Melbourne Golf Club.
Australian Jason Day, who almost pulled out of the tournament for personal reasons, remains in third place on 4-under after carding 70.
Compatriot Adam Scott recovered from a quintuple bogey during his first round to post 68 and move up the leaderboard to a tie for 21st at 1-over.
Bjorn, whose round included five birdies but was book-ended with bogeys at the first and 18th, was pleased with his day's work.
"A few things happened on the golf course today that really tested me," Bjorn, 42, said. "I three-putted the first. I thought the greens were a lot firmer than they were early on.
"I patiently worked my way into the round, maybe not as good as yesterday, but I played some really good stuff on the back nine, and I've got to take that with me into the weekend."
Matt Kuchar also fired a round of 68 to move into a tie for fifth at 3-under, and take America to 10-under at the top of the leaderboard in the team competition, three shots clear of the Danes in second place, with Australia and Japan a further three strokes adrift in third.
Scotland's Martin Laird and Welshman Stuart Manley remain in contention at 3-under despite disappointing rounds of 73, while England's Danny Willett fell back to level par, with partner Chris Wood three shots worse off.
Graeme McDowell, competing for Ireland, hit an even-par round of 71 to leave himself at 1-over in a tie for 21st.
There is no halfway cut in the 60-man event.