Reuters - Former champion Miguel Angel Jimenez shot a three under 69 to move into a share second place midway through the second round of the BMW Asian Open, trailingovernight leader Raphael Jacquelin.
With Frenchman Jacquelin, who recorded a 66 a late starter, the 2004 winner's bogey-free round put the Spaniard in the clubhouse at five under par alongside Dane Soren Kjeldsen and Joakim Backstrom of Sweden.
"I feel very comfortable in this position," the 43 year old Jimenez said at the $2.3 million event, co-sanctioned by The European Tour, Asian Tour and China Golf Association.
"Five under par after two rounds when it's quite breezy on the golf course is very good."
World Number Five Ernie Els, who won this tournament by 13 shots at 26 under in 2005, continued to struggle with his putting and carded a second 71 to stand four shots behind Jacquelin.
"Just not making the putts out there," the South African said. "I am playing okay, just not scoring. A little frustrating. One bogey, two birdies, a bit of a boring round really."
Kjeldsen, who would have had a share of the first round lead but for a three-putt at his last, picked up birdies at his fourth and sixth holes in the second round to briefly top the leaderboard at seven under.
A double bogey when he found the water at the next hole, however, followed by another dropped shot immediately afterwards left him at four under and he needed another birdie at his 12th to give him a par 72.
"The course played tough again today but I made a few putts out there which kept me going and I don't think level par is too bad," said the 31 year old, whose single European Tour title came at Gleneagles in 2003.
Backstrom, who is also looking for a second Tour title, declared himself satisfied with his 69 despite putting "a bit poorly".
Britain's European Tour rookie Kyron Sullivan looked to be on for a 64 after an eagle and six birdies put him eight-under for the day approaching the 18th, but a double bogey at the last left him at three under.
Two time major winner John Daly will have the weekend off after shooting a 76 to finish 11 over for the first two rounds.
"The fairways were too narrow for me," the big-hitting American said. "I had nowhere to hit the golf ball. This is not even fun for me."