Unheralded Argentine Emiliano Grillo has a four-stroke lead at the halfway point of the ISPS Handa Perth International, while former US Masters champion Charl Schwartzel sensationally missed the cut.
Schwartzel endured a torrid time of it, carding a four-over 76 to finish on three over.
The South African had a relatively simple putt for birdie at the 18th that would have seen him play on the weekend, but he missed badly.
Grillo admitted on Thursday that securing his European Tour card for next season had been the primary motivator for his trip Down Under.
The 20-year-old Argentine is 113th on the European Tour money list.
With the top 115 being assured of a card for next year, and after missing the cut in Portugal last week, he needs a good result in Perth and in his final event of the season, the South Africa Open.
He looks on track to achieve that, with the diminutive Argentine following up his first-round 66 with a 67 at the Lake Karrinyup Country Club on Friday to move to 11 under the card.
At his best Grillo was superb, such as his magnificent shot out of the bunker to help save par at the eighth which he followed by sinking an amazing approach shot at the ninth for an eagle.
Grillo is four shots clear of American Bo Van Pelt and local prospect Jason Scrivener, with the 23-year-old from Mandurah carding a three-under-par 69.
Van Pelt, the world number 24, shot a five-under-par 67 in the morning to move to seven under.
Van Pelt and Scrivener are one stroke clear of New Zealand's Michael Hendry, Australian Max McCardle, Spain's Alejandro Canizares and American Jason Dufner, with the Ryder Cup player finding some good form in his second round.
Dufner began well with two birdies but found the water at three, forcing a bogey, and a short time later the water found him as a brief shower descended on the course.
The American hit another four birdies to move into contention with two rounds to play.
South Australian Peter Cooke is a shot further back on five under after his 66 and he is joined there by compatriot Stephen Dartnall and English trio Robert Coles, David Howell and Richard Bland.
Greg Chalmers shot a one-over-par 73 to sit on three under.
Paul Casey began well in the morning, with the 35-year-old - who reached a career-high ranking of number three in May 2009 - birdying two of his first six holes to move into a share of the lead.
But from there the brakes were applied and the Englishman struck trouble after the turn, finishing the day on two under.