Robert Karlsson (Getty Images)
Robert Karlsson turned in a brilliant six under par 30 to close in on runaway first round leader Jamie Donaldson as the second round of the BMW Masters began in Shanghai.
The 43 year old Swede, in need of a strong end to the season to make the DP World Tour Championship, birdied the first two holes at Lake Malaren then had four gains in a row from the sixth to reach seven under for the week.
That was three behind Wales’ Donaldson, who began the day four clear after his brilliant opening 62.
Karlsson enjoyed the biggest win of his career at Jumeirah Golf Estates two years ago, but has not been victorious since and at 75th on The Race to Dubai the former European Number One is in danger of not reaching the top 60 in time for a return trip.
Donaldson, already enjoying the best season of his career after winning a maiden European Tour title in Ireland, was in the final group with Ryder Cup stars Francesco Molinari and Peter Hanson – who both started the day six under par.
Another former DP World Tour Champion trying to reach the top 60 during the closing weeks of the season, Alvaro Quiros, was also going well on three under through five holes and five under for the week.
The Spaniard was level with Northern Irishmen Graeme McDowell, who was two under through three, and World Number One Rory McIlroy who was yet to tee off.
Karlsson made it six gains in a row with birdies at the tenth and 11th to move only one behind Donaldson.
At eight under for his round the former Ryder Cup star needed to pick up five shots over the last seven holes for the first 59 in European Tour history.