Derksen fending off Brier challenge

5/3/2013 3:31:00 AM
Robert-Jan Derksen   (Getty Images)
Robert-Jan Derksen (Getty Images)
Robert-Jan Derksen kept his nose in front as Austria’s Markus Brier charged into contention on the second morning of the Volvo China Open.

Dutchman Derksen birdied two of his last three holes in the opening round to sign for a six under par 66 and two shot lead, and a birdie at the 13th today took him to seven under for the week.

It also kept him two clear, as Brier and last week’s winner Brett Rumford advanced to five under par at Binhai Lake Golf Club.

The 44 year old Brier, who lost his European Tour card at the end of last year but earned a spot in the field as a past champion as one of his two victories came in this event in 2007, had four birdies in an outward 32.

Rumford, tied second overnight with France’s Raphaël Jacquelin and Thailand’s Kiradech Aphibarnrat, mixed two birdies and a bogey on the back nine as he started with an outward 35.

Birdies at the second and sixth took England’s Graeme Storm into a share of third with afternoon starters Jacquelin and Aphibarnrat.