Jamie Donaldson (Getty Images)
Wales’ Jamie Donaldson claimed the lead midway through the opening round of the BMW Masters in Shanghai.
The 37 year old, who won his first European Tour title in Ireland earlier this year, had five birdies in an outward 31 at Lake Malaren Golf Course.
A further gain at the tenth took him to six under with eight to play, one ahead of Northern Ireland’s Michael Hoey.
The four-time European Tour winner was five under through 14 holes as he looks to claim a place at the DP World Tour Championship having started the week 61st on The Race to Dubai with only 60 places on offer at Jumeirah Golf Estates.
David Horsey dramatically improved his recent form to take the clubhouse lead on four under par.
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 with five birdies and one bogey in his 68.
“It's a great score for me to start with,” said Horsey. “I didn't quite take advantage of the wedge shots I had, but holed a few nice ones.
“It’s been a while so it's nice to get a score on the board for a change and hopefully build on that the rest of the week.
“I’ve just been trying to search for perfect golf shots, perfect golf swings and not concentrating on scoring and getting the ball in the hole. So there was a little bit more of that today, and hopefully the rest of my career.
“It’s never nice missing cuts so hopefully I can build a bit of momentum now and start hitting the ground running going into next season.”
Italian Edoardo Molinari, American John Daly and England’s Ross Fisher were also four under playing the back nine.
Four of the Official World Golf Ranking’s top five were playing in the last two groups and going best early on was Lee Westwood at three under through five.