World Number One Tiger Woods claimed a share of the halfway lead at the World Golf Championships-HSBC Champions with compatriot Nick Watney after carding a second consecutive five under par 67 in Shanghai.
First round leader Watney battled to a two under 70 to join Woods at ten under par overall, with Spaniard Alvaro Quiros joining World Number Two Phil Mickelson and fellow American Ryan Moore leading the chasing pack just one shot off the pace.
Former champion Mickelson posted a bogey free, six under par second round, while Commercialbank Qatar Masters Presented by Dolphin Energy champion Quiros dropped just one shot in his 66 with Moore carding a hard-fought 69.
At the top of a tightly congested and American dominated leaderboard, Volvo World Match Play Championship finalist Anthony Kim (69) claimed sixth at eight under with Pat Perez (69) a further shot back and Brian Gay (69) at six under with India's Jyoti Randhawa (70).
Woods was just one under through the turn but made his move on the back nine at Sheshan International Golf Club as a brilliant chip-in birdie from a seemingly improbable position on the 16th and a fourth gain in eight holes at the last earned the two-time runner-up in this event a share of the lead.
“I got off to a good start and birdied the very first hole, but after that, I didn't really make any putts. I certainly had some looks at them and didn't really capitalise on anything,” said 16-time WGC winner Woods.
“I made a putt at nine and from then on I hit a lot of good putts and played the last ten holes in five under. It was a little bit frustrating not holing the putts, but the guys weren't really running off and hiding and I knew that if I could play the back nine in three under that would be a pretty good number and I was able to do a couple better than that.”
Big-hitting Quiros has struggled for form since his thrilling win in Qatar at the start of the year, with only a second place at The European Open to show for his efforts. But his second eagle of the week early in his second round set the Spaniard on the way to posting five birdies against just a solitary bogey.
“I'm hitting the ball okay, nothing great, but nothing bad either,” he said. “I've been very lucky because the shots I missed were very playable and I made a good recovery.”
Mickelson, the 2007 champion, also waited until the back nine to kick-start his round as a second chip in of the day at the 15th, like Woods from a seemingly unplayable position in thick slopping rough, highlighted a run of three birdies over his final four holes.
“It was a good round. I played well to shoot six under. I had a couple of chip-ins which was nice and kept the ball in play throughout the day and then made a couple of birdies at the end,” said the WGC-CA Championship winner.
“I'm pleased with where I have put myself after two rounds, I have put myself in a good position heading into the weekend. There's a lot of guys there and I'll need to play very well on the weekend, but I'm in a good position.”