European Tour

Colsaerts leads in Shanghai

Nicolas Colsaerts (AFP)
Nicolas Colsaerts (AFP)

Shanghai - Belgium's Nicolas Colsaerts has snatched the halfway lead at the BMW Masters in Shanghai on Friday, shooting an eight-under-par 64 at Lake Malaran.

Colsaerts, who has not won a Tour event in over two years, made nine birdies and a lone bogey to end the second round at 14-under-par after his first round 66.

That left him with a one-shot advantage over Frenchman Alex Levy, who carded a 66 after leading the $7 million event overnight.

Levy's countryman Romain Wattel was two shots further back on 11-under after a 67, with Germany's Marcel Siem (66), South Africa's Branden Grace (66) and Argentina's Emiliano Grillo (68) all at 10 under.

Colsaerts has rediscovered his form in the past month after being inspired by watching Europe retain the Ryder Cup.

The 31-year-old was a member of the European team that won the Ryder Cup in 2012, but missed selection this year after sliding down the rankings.

Motivated to get back to his best, he finished second to Levy in the rain-shortened Portugal Masters and has put himself in contention at the BMW Masters.

"I felt like I've been in the zone a couple of times lately and it doesn't really happen in such a short period of time like this," he said.

"So it's pretty nice when you can get it going like this and I've been playing quite well for the last couple of months."

Levy, who also won this year's China Open, got off to a flying start on Friday, when he birdied three of his first four holes then picked up more shots at the seventh and 11th, but a bogey on the 12th saw him end the day a shot behind.

Denmark's Thomas Bjorn recovered from a triple bogey eight on the third for a 67 to finish at nine under while Justin Rose was two shots behind after a 65.

"It was much needed," said Rose. "The leaderboard lit up today.

"The guys took advantage of the scoring conditions and basically my seven under was needed to just somewhat keep pace. I played well and had the opportunity to go quite a few lower, too."

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