Andre Stolz drew on his vast experience of seaside golf and a switch to a conventional putter to take the outright lead at the halfway mark of the Victorian Open on Friday.

The stylish 40-year-old from NSW was rock solid for most of a difficult afternoon at 13th Beach Golf Links at Barwon Heads to add a 71 to his opening round of 67 and reach six-under par after the second round.

That total was good enough for a one-shot lead over West Australian Stephen Dartnall (68), who qualified earlier this month for a spot in July's British Open and Victorian power-hitter Steve Jones (72).

Former Australian Masters champions Craig Parry and Bradley Hughes are tied for fourth place at four-under par in a group of eight players that also includes newly-crowned Australian amateur champion Cameron Smith.

The enigmatic Chris Gaunt was on track to produce a freakish second round after leap-frogging more than 40 players to reach the lead at six-under par through 12 holes of his second round.

But two quadruple-bogey eights followed soon after that resulted in him sliding so far down the list that he ended up missing the cut.

Stolz, a former winner on the US PGA Tour, is just happy to be in contention after going back to a putter of standard length.

"My putter was originally a broomstick and I cut it down to a belly putter and now I've turned into a short putter," he explained.

"It's the same head but it feels pretty good. I haven't been holing everything but I've made what I should have made, all the short ones.

"All you can ask for is get yourself into a good spot and see what happens from there."

In the women's section of the tournament, Sarah Jane Smith maintained the one-shot lead she took into the second round.

The talented Queenslander was at 10-under par after 36 holes following rounds of 65 and 73 on the more inland Creek Course.

Victorian pin-up girl Stacey Keating is her nearest challenger just one shot back after recording a 68.

West Australians Kristie Smith and Jessica Speechley and Sweden's Sophie Gustafson are tied for third alongside the unheralded amateur Grace Lennon, a winner of the club championship at Heidelberg Golf Club as a 12-year-old.

Those making the cut in the women's division now switch over to join the men for the final two rounds on the more exposed Beach Course.

 

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