France’s Jean-Baptiste Gonnet was delighted to continue his excellent run of form with six under par 66 at the start of the Volvo China Open.
The 29 year old, still to win a European Tour event after 150 attempts, had seven birdies and a single bogey to lie one shot behind leader Matthew Baldwin at Binhai Lake.
Gonnet already has two top-six finishes under his belt in 2012, and by making six of his first eight cuts has risen to 42 on The Race to Dubai.
“It was a good start and I have to say that it was the putting again today,” he said. “It has been amazing since I switched to the belly putter about three months ago.
“I had only 24 putts with a three putt today and it makes such a big difference and is the real key to the game.
“It’s nice to be back playing well because I had a calf injury last month and it really stopped me being able to practice. I didn’t really do anything to get the injury, it just kind of crept on me. But it feels good to be up there after the first round – it is always good to be in contention.
“I have been in the top 20 after the first two rounds for the past eight tournaments so I need to continue that and push on because I am in good form and the putting is in great shape which is very important.”