US PGA Championship winner YE Yang and Malaysia’s Danny Chia set the clubhouse lead at seven under par midway through the second round of the UBS Hong Kong Open.
With damp overcast morning conditions making scoring tough, Chia carded a four under par 66, while Yang battled to a 67 at Hong Kong Golf Club.
Robert-Jan Derksen had yet to begin his second round challenge from seven under following his opening round 63.
“The temperature dropped a bit more than I am used to in Hong Kong. It caused a little bit of difficulty trying to find the distance and it was also a bit dark,” said Korean Yang.
“The greens were fast but the lighting wasn’t as good and they were also dark because of the moisture so they were hard to read.”
With the short and technical Fanling course ideally suiting his game, Ireland’s Peter Lawrie followed up his opening 66 with a second round two under 68 to join 2008 Indian Masters champion SSP Chowrasia (69) at six under par.
“The ball was flying nowhere this morning," said Lawrie, who carded five birdies against three bogeys.
"The course is short and you have to hit it in the right place so it suits my game.
"I am playing nicely, I hit 17 greens (on Thursday) and hit quite a few today.”
Graeme Storm, Pablo Larrazabal and Simon Dyson all carded three under rounds of 67 to improve to five under in a group which also includes Graeme McDowell and Asian Tour Order of Merit leader Thongchai Jaidee.
“I played a little more solid this morning, but it has been two very different days,” said McDowell after shipping just one bogey during his second round.
“(Thursday) was hot and the ball was flying and the course was there for the taking and I didn’t quite take it. This morning the course played unbelievably long with the overnight rain and colder temperatures and the wind was switching round, the course was definitely playing a couple of clubs different.”
First round leader Udorn Duangdecha tumbled down the leaderboard as the Thai failed to follow his storming 62 with a four over par 74 which included four bogeys and a double bogey.
Meanwhile, 15 year old Hong Kong amateur Jason Hak is set to make the cut for a second successive year after carding a second round three under par 67.
Last year US based Hak became the youngest player to make the cut at a European Tour event after beating Sergio Garcia’s record which had stood for 13 years.
And returning this year on a sponsors invite after qualifying as a 14 year old 12 months ago, his three under par total should comfortably secure a berth over the weekend.
“I enjoyed today very much. I had five birdies and misread it a bit on the two bogey holes. My iron shots were great, but I think I need to work on my putting,” he said.
“Over the weekend I will try and enjoy playing with the international stars and use the same game plan. I will try and take it easy and not put too much pressure on myself.”