David Horsey took an early lead at the BMW Masters in Shanghai as the Englishman’s looks to end the season on a high note.
A two-time European Tour winner, the 27 year old is down at 146th on The Race to Dubai after missing 15 of his last 17 cuts.
A second round 68 in his last outing at the Portugal Masters at least showed his game was moving in the right direction, and that continued at Lake Malaren Golf Course.
Birdies at the fourth and sixth sandwiched a bogey at the fifth, and further gains at the tenth and 11th took Horsey to three under par and one clear of his nearest challengers.
His compatriot Tom Lewis – another to have struggled for form this year – Australian Richard Green, Chinese pair Dong Su and Xin-jun Zhang, Northern Ireland’s Michael Hoey, Italian Edoardo Molinari and Spanish Ryder Cup Captain and Vice Captain José María Olazábal and Miguel Angel Jiménez were all two under early in the first round.
Four of the Official World Golf Ranking’s top five were present, but Rory McIlroy, Luke Donald, Lee Westwood and Justin Rose were all due to play in the final two groups teeing off at 11:10 and 11:20 local time.