Colsaerts claims clubhouse lead

4/20/2012 6:58:44 AM
Nicolas Colsaerts  (Getty Images)
Nicolas Colsaerts (Getty Images)
A five under par 67 saw Nicolas Colsaerts move into the clubhouse lead during the second round of the Volvo China Open.

The 29 year old Belgian, looking to become the first player in the history of the event to successfully defend the title, carded five birdies and two bogeys in his round to move to nine under par.

But for the second day running, the highlight of the biggest hitter on The European Tour’s round came at the par five second.

Colsaerts needed only an iron into the 575 yard hole, and struck it to two feet before holing the eagle putt.

“It was pretty good for the first two days,” he said. “Funnily enough I probably played better yesterday and shot four under and then went one better today in the tougher conditions. 

“I made one or two mistakes today but you just have to accept that on a day like this. It got really tough out there about halfway through the round. The wind really started to blow and the temperature went down about ten degrees.” 

At nine under Colsaerts led by one from Korean Choi Jin-ho and Australian Marcus Fraser.

Choi had six birdies and one bogey in his 67, the highlight an approach to three feet at the 12th.

“The conditions were very different today,” he said. “The wind made it very difficult, but I played some good recovery shots which helped my score. The key is that you have to be patient and take your chances when you can.”

Fraser, who on Thursday admitted he was old enough to be 13 year old playing partner Guan Tian-lang’s playing partner, had five birdies and two bogeys in a 69.

And the 33 year old Australian was delighted with his performance, particularly after missing the cut last week in Malaysia.

“It’s a nice surprise to be up there on the leaderboard after last week,” he said. “I did some good work last weekend and spoke to my coach on the phone and what he has been telling me is finally sinking in. 

“You would think it would sink in – he has been telling me the same thing for months but golfers aren’t the smartest people on the planet sometimes!”

Overnight leader Matthew Baldwin was amongst the afternoon wave of players, and the Englishman remained seven under after starting his round with four consecutive pars.

He was joined on the mark by Dutchman Joost Luiten, who after a bogey at the first birdied the second and third.

Colsaerts was overtaken when South African Branden Grace – one of only two players to have already win twice on The 2012 Race to Dubai – turned in 32 before birdieing the 12th from five feet to reach ten under.

England’s Gary Boyd was also going well, a 12 foot birdie at the fifth taking him to nine under.