England’s Simon Dyson, chasing a fourth title in China, leads Ryder Cup players Miguel Angel Jiménez of Spain and Ireland’s Paul McGinley by two strokes at the halfway stage of the BMW Asian Open at the Tomson Shanghai Pudong Golf Club.
Dyson, a member of the victorious 1999 Great Britain and Ireland Walker Cup team, enjoyed remarkable success in the country during his rookie season of 2000 when he won the Macau Open and Volvo China Open in mainland China in addition to the Omega Hong Kong Open en route to winning the Asian Tour Order of Merit that year.
After an opening course record 66 yesterday, Dyson struggled during the outward half, reaching the turn in one over par but birdies at the tenth, 13th, 14th and 17th holes gave the 26 year old a round of 69 for a nine under par total of 135.
“I played well all day,” said Dyson. “The front nine didn't really happen, but I knocked it to about a foot on the tenth so that got me going.
"It feels good. There's some good names behind me so I'll have to play well at the weekend if I'm going to be here on Sunday.”
Earlier Jiménez equalled Dyson’s course record 66 as he stepped up his bid for a third European Tour title of the season following his previous successes in the Johnnie Walker Classic in Thailand and the Algarve Open de Portugal Caixa Geral de Depositos.
The Spaniard began with two birdies and then closed with four more birdies in his last six holes in a flawless six under par round to move to seven under par 137, two strokes off the pace.
His total was matched by McGinley who lifted himself into a share of second place with a three birdie round of 69.
Frenchman Jean-François Lucquin was another player to equal the course record of 66 to move to six under par and into a four-way tie for fourth alongside Germany’s Alex Cejka, Australian Adam Groom and American Greg Hanrahan.
Greg Norman, the ‘Great White Shark’, followed his opening 67 with a level par 72 to lie on five under par while defending champion Padraig Harrington of Ireland shot a second successive level par 72 to lie down the field in joint 42nd place.
The BMW Asian Open, the first European Tour event in mainland China, is jointly sanctioned by The European Tour and the Asian Tour and the China Golf Association.