Beijing (CHINA): England's Matt Wallace stayed on course for what would be the third European Tour win of his career after taking a one-shot lead at the halfway stage of the RMB 20 million Volvo China Open at Beijing Huairou Golf and Country Club.

The 28-year old, who just last month won the Hero Indian Open, carded a second round two-under par 70 to move to nine-under for the tournament, one shot ahead of Spain's Nacho Elvira, Jason Scrivener of Australia and the USA's Sihwan Kim all on eight-under.

"The wind was tough today, really swirling, so I'm pretty happy with the score and the birdie on the last," he said. "We made a nice eagle on eight and I thought we could push on and make the lead a little bit bigger, but the wind wouldn't let us. I only had one bad swing on the 17th and that cost me a bogey but my caddy Dave gave me good advice on the last and we got the shot back with that final hole birdie, which showed I was still in it mentally.

"The guys that got to eight-under this morning caught up with us and although I tried to push on the weather wouldn't let us. To be ahead after playing that wind in the afternoon is a good feeling. I like leading tournaments but there is a long way to go. I'm playing nice stuff, so I just have to keep doing what I am doing."

With just three shots covering the first 14 players, the tournament is wide open but Wallace remains confident. "I'll sleep happy because I am playing well. I'm confident, the swing is good and I'm rolling the ball well on the greens."

Like Wallace, American Sihwan Kim also suffered due to the blustery and unpredictable conditions. "It was quite windy, especially on the back nine, which meant the course played quite different from day one," he said after a round of 66 (-6). "Some holes seem longer and others shorter than yesterday, but a bogey-free round is good for the confidence."

Also well in contention, Australia's Jason Scrivener has his eye on a first European Tour victory, despite battling to overcome tiredness. A double bogey on the last hole of the round prevented from him leading going into day three but a 69 (-3), which included an eagle and four birdies, keeps him well in the hunt.

"It was very frustrating to end with a double but while I'm a bit exhausted there are no excuses," said the 29-year old from Mandurah. "I haven’t slept well this week and I've been awake since 2am this morning but the travel we have to put up with is all part of the job.

"Can I win? I feel like I've progressed over the past couple of years and I'm not far away from winning on tour. I have to work hard and be persistent and hopefully that win will come soon. Eight under is a good position to be in and it's great to be in the mix for the weekend."

Defending champion Alexander Levy remains for the weekend – but only just. The Frenchman dropped four shots on the front nine to look set on being the first defending champion to miss the cut since YE Yang in 2011. But two birdies on the inward nine saw him end the day with a 73 (+1) and two-under for the tournament.

Levy's playing partners, World No. 32 Kiradech Aphibarnrat of Thailand and the 2016 Volvo China Open champion Haotong Li of China, also made it through to the final two days both carding two-under par 70s (-2) to move to four-under and one-under respectively.

With the cut made at one-under par, the highest placed of the six home grown players to make it to the weekend are Li, Xuewen Luo (68), overnight leader Daxing Jin (76) and Hongfu Wu (67) who are all tied for a share of 22nd place on four-under par. Along with Ashun Wu (-3) tie 35th, and Yanwei Liu (-1) tie 58th.

Among those missing the cut are Austria's Bernd Wiesberger on two-over par and former Volvo China Open winners Brett Rumford of Australia (+5) and India's Jeev Milkha Singh (+10).

The third round of the 2018 Volvo China Open will get underway at 7.00am on Saturday (April 28).


2018 Volvo China Open Leading Scores After Two Rounds

135 (-9) Wallace (ENG)

136 (-8) Elvira (ESP), Scrivener (AUS), Kim (USA)

137 (-7) Lee (Kor), Campillo (ESP), Guerrier (FRA), Otaegui (ESP)

138 (-6) Bertasio (ITA), Norris (AUS), Wang (KOR), Bjork (SWE), Smith (ENG), Jamieson (SCO)


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