SHANGHAI (AFP) – Big-hitting Belgian Nicolas Colsaerts fired a superb eight-under 64 Friday to take a one-shot lead after the second round of the BMW Masters in Shanghai.
Colsaerts used his booming length to great effect, grabbing four of the nine birdies on his card at each of the par-fives on the 7,607-yard rain-softened Lake Malaren layout.
Colsaerts leads by one to France’s long-hitter Alexander Levy with compatriot Romain Wattel – no slouch off the tee himself – a further shot back.
The 2012 Ryder Cup winner has enjoyed a resurgence in form of late, shooting a rare round of 60 at the Portugal Masters three weeks ago.
And only last month he destroyed the European Tour’s all-time long-driving record with a monstrous 447-yard blast at Celtic Manor at the Wales Open.
Colsaerts also blasted three birdies and an eagle on the par fives in his opening round 66 on Thursday. He acknowledged that the soft course and heavy conditions were playing into the hands of the men with the big guns off the tee.
Ryder Cup star and 2013 US open winner Justin Rose enjoyed one of the rounds of the day with a seven-under 65, but finds himself seven off the lead going into the weekend.
One of the few shorter men off the tee to stand tall on the leaderboard was Northern Ireland’s 2010 US Open winner Graeme McDowell.
He is six back from Colsaerts after a three-under 69 left him decently placed at eight-under for the tournament.
Another European Ryder Cup stalwart, Thomas Bjorn, fought back from four over par for the day after just three holes to record a five-under par 67.