Tour News

Levy brilliance leads Volvo China Open

(Photo: OneAsia)
SHENZHEN, China, April 25 - France's Alexander Levy (right) fired a brilliant 10-under-par 62 on Friday to grab a commanding lead after two rounds of the OneAsia co-sanctioned Volvo China Open in Shenzhen, southern China.

The 23-year-old made mincemeat of the 6,534-metre (7,145-yard) Genzon Golf Club course -- hosting a professional championship for the first time -- to stand at 14-under-par, four ahead of Spaniard Adrian Otaegui (66), with overnight leader Alvaro Quiros (68) one further back.

Levy was left stranded by bad light on the 18th on Thursday, but finished his round with a routine par on Friday before immediately starting his second.

"It is a great round for me," said Levy, whose career best finish so far was third at last year's BMW International Open.

"I played unbelievably today and it's the first time I have played like that. I really like the course and it is in great shape."

Otaegui is also seeking his first professional win and the 22-year-old made the cause a bit easier with a seventh birdie on the 18th.

He was looking forward to playing on Saturday with Levy, saying the lead was not insurmountable.

"We actually turned pro the same day and have played a lot as amateurs as well over the years," he said.

"He is a good friend of mine and a very good player, but we have a very long way to go with two full rounds to go."

Raphael Jacquelin had six birdies against a single bogey in his round of 67.

"I played a bit better today compared to how I was hitting the ball yesterday, so I feel pretty good," he said. "Still a few bad shots, but overall, five under, I'll take it, definitely."

Fin Mikko Ilonen, runner-up at this event last year, and Scot Richie Ramsay both fired bogey-free 68s to stand at seven under for a share of fifth.

Ian Poulter (74) chided himself for a "schoolboy error" after taking an incorrect drop on the 13th when his tee shot went into a hazard.

"I took two club lengths as opposed to one and it's a two shot penalty which turned a bad six into a really bad eight, so not the best of holes," he said. "Sometimes we are a bit thick and that was one of those times."

He is one-under par, the same as defending champion Brett Rumford (75), while American Jason Dufner matched a cut set at level par after posting a 71.

World Number three Henrik Stenson, battling the effects of a stomach bug, gritted his teeth for a 70 that leaves him three under for the tournament. An unlikely win from there would see him overtake both Adam Scott and Tiger Woods in the world rankings.

Chinese amateur Guan Tianlang, who made the cut at last year's U.S. Masters aged just 14, could not match his opening 71 and will miss the weekend after a second round 76.

Best of the home players was Li Hao-tong (69) who is two under despite a disastrous 11 on the ninth in the first round.

Five Chinese players made the cut, including Liang Wenchong (70, 74) and Wu Ashun (69, 74).

Richard Green currently leads the Australians in 20th position although 11 shots from the lead while Scott Strange is one shot further back in 34th position.