The 22-year-old Lowry totaled 15-under 129 to lead Jamie Donaldson of England and Robert Rock of Wales, who each shot a 65. Paul Lawrie of Scotland , the 1999 Open champion, hit a hole-in-one at the 17th and was in fourth place after a 66.
I dont know what to think, Lowry said. Its like a dream. Its unbelievable to be leading by two (shots) over a field like this.
Thomas Levet of France (66), Nick Dougherty of England (67) and Roope Kakko of Finland (67) are another stroke back.
Graeme McDowell of Northern Ireland hit 61 for the round of the day ' and 16 shots better than his score Thursday ' to be two shots inside the cut of 140. Padraig Harrington (68) and John Daly (75) missed the cut.
Lowry has played with rising Northern Ireland star Rory McIlroy.
I have played with Rory a lot before he turned pro, so I know him quite well, Lowry said. But I wouldnt put myself in the same league as he is. Maybe one day.
Lowry chipped in at the first for birdie and, after birdies at the third and fourth, chipped in again for an eagle at the sixth.
They were pretty easy, Lowry said of the chip-ins. Its hard not to think about winning now.
First-round leader Francesco Molinari of Italy was disqualified after his 73 for signing for the wrong score on two holes. Michael Hoey of Northern Ireland also was disqualified after discovering he played the first round and one hole of the second with too many clubs in his bag.