Date: April 13, 2007

Blyth within two strokes

Australian Adam Blyth is in second place and just two shots behind leader Rapha l Jacquelin at the half way mark of the China Open. Blyth carded a second round of 67 to be well placed at five-under-par, while Jacquelin also fired a 67 to move to the outright lead at seven-under-par. Scott Hend is well placed to make an assault on Jacquelin&aposs advantage, an eagle three at the 18th helping the big-driving Australian go out in 32. Birdies at the first and fifth saw him close to within two, before three bogeys in his final four holes dropped the man from Brisbane back to four-under-par and a tie with Argentinean Andres Romero after both players shot 67s. Damien McGrane and Graeme McDowell head the Irish challenge on two-under-par but both men still have a lot of work to do to catch Jacquelin. After an opening round of 71 in tough conditions over the 6,792-yard course at the Shanghai Silport Golf Club on Thursday, scoring proved a little easier on Friday and McGrain took advantage to move up the leaderboard. Starting out early on the back nine McGrane, celebrating his 36th birthday, was quickly into his stride with birdies at the 13th and 14th as he emerged as Jacquelin&aposs earliest challenger. A dropped shot at the 15th was soon cancelled out at the 18th as a pitch from the rough to within six feet of the pin allowed him to reach the turn in 34. And a bogey four at the third was quickly followed by a birdie three at the fourth as McGrain eventually finished with a 69 to lie five shots off the seven under par mark set by Jacquelin. McDowell also had a solid day as he fought back from a back nine score of 37, which included two bogeys, with two birdies on the front nine to shoot a second successive 70 to tie for fourth with McGrane on the early second-round leaderboard. However Jacquelin, starting on the 10th, began like a man possessed, reeling off three consecutive birdies in the opening three holes before adding two more to go out in 31. Another at the fifth and the Frenchman looked like he was going to run away with the tournament at nine under, but bogeys at seven and eight brought him back towards the chasing pack as he eventually finished with a second-round score of 67. Stephen Dodd also carded a 67 to haul himself back into contention for the weekend. After opening with a 74, three birdies and no bogeys saw the 40-year-old play the back nine in 33 before completing the front nine only one stroke worse off, the only blemish on the Welshman&aposs scorecard being a five at the fourth, to climb to one under. Scotland&aposs Stephen Gallacher was even par for the day to remain at two over, while Englishman Simon Wakefield fared a lot better than his opening 75 to move to two over par after notching a 69. Miles Tunnicliff shot a 74 and fell to five over alongside Welshman Mark Pilkington, who opened with five consecutive bogeys in his four-over par 75. Compatriot Kyron Sullivan fared little better, also making a 75 to lie well off the pace at six over. Leading scores after Round Two of the China Open: (par 71) -7: Rapha l Jacquelin 68 67 -5: Adam Blyth (Australia) 70 67 -4: Andres Romero 71 67 Scott Hend (Australia) 71 67 -3: Simon Yates 73 66 -2: Graeme McDowell 70 70, Christopher Hanell 70 70, Markus Brier 72 68, Damien McGrane 71 69 -1: Jean-Fran ois Lucquin 73 68 Richard Lee 70 71 Richard Sterne 70 71 StephenDodd 74 67 E: Scott Strange (Australia) 74 68, Michael Jonzon 70 72, Robert-Jan Derksen 70 72, Thomas Bjorn 70 72, Gary Emerson 72 70, Andrew McLardy 72 70 Also +2: Unho Park (Australia) 70 74, Terry Pilkadaris (Australia) 74 70, Brett Rumford (Australia) 72 72 +3: Kane Webber (Australia) 72 73, Adam Groom (Australia) 73 72, Peter O&aposMalley (Australia) 74 71 +5: Marcus Both (Australia) 74 73, Marcus Fraser (Australia) 75 72, Tony Carolan (Australia) 75 72 +6: David Gleeson (Australia) 73 75 +7: David Brandson (Australia) 74 75, Gavin Flint (Australia) 74 75, Gary Simpson (Australia) 74 75, Brad Kennedy (Australia) 74 75 +9: Adam Le Vesconte (Australia) 76 75 +15: Matthew Millar (Australia) 79 78