The pair are 1-under but only just outside the top 10 after a day of high winds made scoring tricky at the Golf Club Gut Laerchenhof near Cologne.
France’s Sebastian Gros leads at 4-under, just 22 players in red figures as a result of the high winds combined with thick rough bordering the course.
Nick Cullen is next best of the nine Australians in the field, his even par 72 good for a share of 23rd position.
Lucas Herbert is 1-over and T35, a disappointing result on a day where he opened with five birdies in the first seven holes but gave back six strokes over the closing six.
Adam Bland is 2-over and T55, Jason Norris 4-over and T95 while Marcus Fraser, Jordan Zunic and Sam Brazel are all outside the top 100.
Wind played havoc with the field for much of the day with the leader describing the test as the equivalent of the European Tour’s version of the US Open.
"If we got 72 holes with this wind, it could be our US Open just after the US Open,” he joked.
“You have to keep the ball in play and you have to be good on the greens, especially with the wind. The putter has been working today, I just hope it will keep me smiling all week.
“It's just Thursday so no need to start thinking about anything, it's just a good round, and we'll try to take enough confidence out of this round to keep going for the rest of the week.
Herbert was the talk of the tournament early in the day when he raced to a two-shot lead through 11 holes.
Playing on a sponsor’s exemption, the 22-year-old is looking to continue a solid run of form extending back to the Australian Summer of Golf.
Since finishing runner-up to Jason Scrivener at the NSW Open and playing in the final group Sunday at the Australian Open Herbert has earned cards on both the PGA Tour China and the PGA Tour Canada.
He also qualified for last week’ US Open at Shinnecock Hills, where he missed the cut, and a T8 earlier in the year in Singapore has earned him a spot at next month’s Open Championship at Carnoustie.
One of the game’s longer hitters, Herbert will be particularly frustrated with making bogeys at both back nine par-5’s alongside a double bogey at the 17th hole.
DUSTIN JOHNSON'S UNIQUE MOTION:
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