Quesne leads Shanghai queue

Julien Quesne carded a five-under 67 on Friday to open up a one shot lead at the halfway mark of the Volvo China Open in Shanghai.

The Frenchman shot six birdies and bogey during his round, to continue the good form that saw him finish tied for fourth at last week’s Shenzhen International.

“I played much better today, so that was the main reason for my good score,” Quesne told the European Tour website.

“I felt very comfortable and hardly missed any shots, so it was a very good day all round.

“My performance last week definitely helps build the confidence, so I felt good at the start of the week and I’m still feeling good now, but there’s a long way to go.”

The 67 took Quesne’s overall score to eight-under, after he carded a three-under 69 in Thursday’s opening round.

Quesne is trailed by American Peter Uihlein and fellow Frenchman Alexander Levy, who are tied for second on seven-under.

Levy, the defending champion shot seven birdies, a bogey and a double bogey to post a 68 after carding a 69 on day one.

“There are so many good golfers in France now, so it’s logical that you see lots of French players up near the top of the leaderboard. I hope we can keep it going over the weekend” Quesne said.

Romain Wattel, another Frenchman, is tied for fourth with five other players including respective Shenzhen International winner and runner-up Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Hao Tong Li.

Aphibarnrat was high on confidence when he arrived in Shanghai, and but has just about kept in touch with the leaders on five-under after rounds of 71 and 68.

“I’m very happy, especially as its playing tough – there are lots of slopes on the greens and the course is very firm,” said Aphibarnrat.

“I’m not driving the ball as well as I did last week, but the rest of my game is in pretty good shape, especially my short game.

“I’m still feeling good. I’ve been getting lots of rest and eating well, so I’m feeling fine and ready to go. Mentally I’m still sharp and my confidence is high, so I just have to keep it up.”

The cut was made at two-over, with former European Tour winners Nicolas Colsaerts and Tom Lewis both falling short.