Friday, 19 March 2010
Reuters - Frenchman Rafael Jacquelin exploited the early morning calm to shoot a four under par 67 and forge a three stroke lead midway through the second round of the Volvo China Open.

The 32 year old, who shared the lead with China's Huang Ming-jie overnight, made the perfect start to the day with birdies at his first three holes and, with another two by his 14th hole, looked set to open up a huge lead.

The Shanghai wind returned, however, and bogeys at two of his last three holes left him at seven under for the tournament, co-sanctione by The European Tour, Asian Tour and China Golf Association, three shots better off than Australian Scott Hend and Argentine Andres Romero, who also shot 67s.

"When we started at 7.10am, it was dead calm," said the Frenchman, who was second in windy conditions in Estoril two weeks ago.

"I was lucky enough to make three birdies at the start and I was playing really well. Like yesterday I made two bogeys at the end but that is the game, especially on this course in these conditions."

When the wind did return, it was blowing in the opposite direction.

"It's like a different course, especially on the par fives yesterday we were playing downwind but today we were playing into the wind," said Jacquelin.

After a topsy-turvy level par round on Thursday that featured an eagle and three birdies, Hend also started at the tenth hole and snared two birdies and another eagle on his front nine.

He got another birdie at the tricky first, hitting a nine iron to within three inches, but like Jacquelin struggled in the stiffening wind to mix three bogeys with a couple more birdies.

"It's pretty tough out there, a little easier than yesterday, it's a matter of being pretty patient on the golf course," said the 33 year old Queenslander, who played a couple of years on the US PGA Tour.

Irishmen Damien McGrane and Graeme McDowell shared fourth on two under par after rounds of 69 and 70 respectively.

"It is early days and there is a score to be had out there," said Ulsterman McDowell.

"If it blows again like yesterday we know how tough it can be so there is a lot that can happen around this track."

Huang hit six bogeys for a 76 to drop out of contention at two over on a bad morning for China with Liang Wenchong having another disappointing round to stand 12 shots off the lead.

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Tournament Leaderboard

Pos Player nameNatHolePar
1BRIER, MarkusAUT18-10
T2MCLARDY, AndrewRSA18-5
T2MCDOWELL, GraemeNIR18-5
T2HEND, ScottAUS18-5
5STERNE, RichardRSA18-4
T6JACQUELIN, RaphaëlFRA18-3
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