Friday, 19 March 2010
Volvo China Open - Round Two  (Getty Images)
Volvo China Open - Round Two (Getty Images)

Mark Brown shot a seven under par 65 to hold a one shot lead over early morning pace setter Kang Kyung-nam as the Ballantine's Championship got under way at the Pinx Golf Club on Jeju Island.

Having narrowly missed out on victory in Beijing last week, the 34 year old from New Zealand set about making amends right from his start, holing an eagle as he got his round up and running on the par five tenth.

Despite a bogey at the 14th, back-to-back birdies at the 16th and 17th put him back up among the front runners at the turn, before two more consecutive birdies at the first and second moved him to within a shot of early leader Kang.

Further birdies at the seventh and his final hole of the day, the ninth, pushed him to sole first place.

With a bogey at the second his only blemish of the round, Kang picked up three birdies by the turn plus an eagle on the par five tenth to leave him with an early round score of four under par, and put him well on course to better the three over 75 he shot during the first round at this event last year.

A further pair of birdies before the end put him at six under 66, one shot ahead of England's Robert Dinwiddie whose round of six birdies and an eagle was soured by bogeys at the seventh and 11th but left him clear of a pack of six players tied for fourth place on four under.

Among them is World Number Nine Henrik Stenson, who after also starting on the back nine, hit four birdies on his way back in having reached the turn level par with bogeys on the 16th and 18th cancelling out birdies at the 11th and 17th.

Brown was more than happy with his look at the course at the Pinx Golf Club and admitted there was more to come from him as the tournament and the year progresses.

“I didn't play here last year, so it's my first real look at it. But I just played nice and steady,” he said.

“The last two or three tournaments I've started to play a little bit better and get my confidence up a little bit.

“I'm aiming to peak for a Major in July back in Europe, it's a step in the right direction.”

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Tournament Leaderboard

Pos Player nameNatHolePar
T1FDEZ-CASTAÑO, GonzaloESP18-4
T1JAIDEE, ThongchaiTHA18-4
T1KANG, Sung-hoonKOR18-4
T4ELS, ErnieRSA18-2
T4DERKSEN, Robert-JanNED18-2
T4BENSON, SeveENG18-2
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