John Catlin has edged ahead at the Andalucia Valderrama Masters heading into the weekend thanks to two late birdies on day two.

Players have found it tough to break par so far in Spain, with Catlin the only one to do so in both of the first two rounds.

Indeed, as the competition enters its second half, only four players are under par.

Catlin, 29, looked to be heading into the clubhouse with a score of one over for the day, which would have seen a four-way share for the lead for a second successive day.

But the American – who is yet to earn a maiden win on the European Tour – claimed birdies on holes 16 and 17 to take a two-shot lead, despite only being three under for the tournament.

"I was hanging on in the middle of the round," he said. "I got off to a hot start again but then I started making bogeys, which you can do out here pretty easily if you miss a fairway here and a green there.

"I made a really good bogey on the ninth, that could have been a double pretty quickly. I hung in there all day and was able to hole putts there on the 16th, 17th and 18th."

Pablo Larrazabal, Connor Syme and Jamie Donaldson are the trio two shots back, while Wilco Nienaber is another stroke adrift at even par.