Three-time major champion Padraig Harrington was on course for his first victory in two years by surging into the halfway lead at the Iskandar Johor Open on Friday.
Harrington carded a 5-under-par 67 in the second round for a 13-under 131 total, one stroke better then Taiwan's Lin Wen-tang at the Horizon Hills Golf and Country Club in Malaysia's southern Johor state.
Lin, a five-time winner in Asia, narrowly missed an eagle at the last hole to tie Harrington, but produced the day's best round of 65 amid strong winds at the Asian Tour event.
Lee Sung of South Korea shot a blemish-free 68 to finish three shots back in third place, while Asian Tour Order of Merit leader Noh Seung-yul of South Korea was a further stroke back in a tie with Singaporean Mardan Mamat and Australian Scott Hend on 135.
Harrington turned in 35 with two birdies and a dropped shot, but drained a 35-foot birdie putt on his 12th hole of the day. He sank a 25-footer for eagle at the par-five sixth.
"There are a lot of birdies to be made and I've made a few eagles," Harrington said. "I've got to keep moving forward, play well and take a lead into Sunday."
Harrington hasn't won on tour since collecting his third major title at the 2008 U.S. PGA Championship.
Lin excelled despite the afternoon winds with nine birdies against two bogeys. He hit all but one fairway and peppered the flags with crisp iron play.