SOTOGRANDE, Spain — Scotland's Richie Ramsay shot a 1-over 72 to preserve his two stroke lead after the second round of the Andalucia Masters on Friday.
Ramsay reached par after a birdie at No. 11 before a wayward drive led to a bogey at the 18th to drop him to 5 under overall.
France's Gregory Havret had a mixed day but his 71 left him in second ahead of Sergio Garcia, who carded a second straight 70 to sit three strokes behind in third.
"Going up against one of your idols on a course, this is a dream situation," Ramsay said of Garcia, a three-time runner-up at this event.
“I look forward to playing with Sergio, his natural ability and the way he plays golf is the way that I like to play golf. He likes to shape it and move it, and use some imagination - he’s probably the best person doing that in the game."
Garcia needs to win again to qualify for next week's World Golf Championships-HSBC Champions in Shanghai.
"I could have been a little bit more aggressive with a couple of putts coming in, but my short game is pretty good right now," he said. "Back-to-back wins would be a great thing, but I don’t want to get ahead of myself. Valderrama can catch you any time - you can never think that you have this course under control."
"That’s the beauty of if. A course doesn’t need to be long to be tough."
Fellow Spaniard Miguel Angel Jimenez finished the back nine in 4 under for a 70 that left him the only other player to go around Valderrama under par after two rounds at 1 under.
Defending champion Graeme McDowell (73) and Martin Kaymer (75) were in a group at 4 over.
Ryder Cup captain Jose Maria Olazabal (74) made his first cut in nine starts.