Seven players share the 36-hole lead at the Hainan Open on seven under par following a day of relatively low scoring at Sanya Luhuitou Golf Club.
Wil Besseling, Robin Roussel and China’s Liu Yanwei set the target after teeing off early on day two, while Englishmen Richard Bland and Matthew Jordan, China’s Xiao Bowen and South Korean Jaewoong Eom joined them on seven under par as darkness began to descend over Sanya.
Of the leaders, Liu posted the lowest round as a six under par round of 66 earned him a share of the advantage, while Besseling and Bland posted rounds of 67, Xiao, Eom and Roussel signed for rounds of 68, while Jordan added a two under par 70 to his opening 67.
One shot further back is France’s Damien Perrier, Chinese duo Bai Zheng-kai and He Shaocai – who posted the low round of the day with a seven under par 65 – and Yeh Yu-Chen of Chinese Taipei, who all share eighth place on six under par.
Italian Challenge Open Eneos Motor Oil champion Jordan said: “I’ve played well. I started off the first round a bit iffy. I saved it a little bit in the first seven holes but from then on, from about the eighth hole yesterday, I played solid. I’ve shown positives on both days, so I’m happy.
“I didn’t think it was that different to yesterday. I did battle well actually, yesterday I just got up and down a couple more times. Over the two days I’ve been very solid and it doesn’t take much to pick up a shot or drop a shot.
“It’s a great event. It’s great to come to China, I’ve never been here before. It’s good to experience different things like the cuisine and course. The course is obviously very good. I haven’t heard one person say anything bad about it. The wind keeps it honest.”
Bland, the Road to Mallorca Number Three, said: “It was another hot day. I played the back nine, which was our front nine, well and I think I turned in 32 and I felt like I actually left a couple out there. I played a little scrappy on the back. My short game kept me going, which was nice because you need that.
“The ninth is just playing like an absolute brute, especially with that back right flag – you’re not getting anywhere near that. It was disappointing to make five but I’m not going to lose any sleep over it – not that I’m sleeping at the minute anyway!
“I’ve been coming to China for quite a number of years and flying East for a number of years and I still haven’t worked out how you sleep for those first four or five nights. I feel like I sleep great and then I look at the clock and I’ve been asleep for an hour and a half."
In total, 63 players survived the halfway cut of one over par or lower, including the two Chinese amateurs Chen Guxin and Liu Enhua. The third round will begin at 9.20am local time, with the final group of Liu, Roussel and Besseling teeing off at 11.10am.