Nicolas Colsaerts (Getty Images)
Reigning champion Nicolas Colsaerts stepped up his defence of the Volvo China Open as he moved into the outright lead when the second round began in Tianjin.
The 29 year old Belgian, whose victory in this event 12 months ago currently remains his only European Tour title, had begun the event with a four under par 68 at Binhai Lake Golf Club.
But Colsaerts – who currently leads Alvaro Quiros in The European Tour’s longest driver category - began his second round with consecutive birdies.
He then bogeyed the 12th, but picked up a shot at the 18th to turn in 34 before using his length off the tee to good effect at the par five second, carding an eagle three.
With overnight leader Matthew Baldwin not out until later following his superb opening 65, Colsaerts was one stroke clear of the field on eight under.
Korean Choi Jin-ho, Australian Marcus Fraser and England’s Richard Finch had all joined Baldwin on seven under par – Choi was four under for the day through 11, while Finch and Fraser were both two under through seven.
On a tightly congested leaderboard, 24 players were within three shots of the lead, with the cut mark projected to fall at two under par.