Felipe Aguilar finished as the clubhouse leader on day two of the Volvo China Open today after he fired a seven-under-par 65 at Topwin Golf and Country Club.
The Chilean was bogey-free and came home in 31 to get to 11 under and finish one ahead of Sweden’s Alex Noren and Austrian Bernd Wiesberger.
The tournament is the season-opening event on OneAsia and jointly-sanctioned with the European Tour.
South African Hennie Otto had come into the second day with a two-shot lead after a brilliant opening 63 and had four holes remaining of his round before the threat of lightening stopped play for the day. He lay at nine under for the tournament.
Korean Taehoon Kim recorded the second hole-in-one of the week on his way to a 64 and is tied for fourth at nine under alongside Denmark’s Lucas Bjerregaard and Englishman Tyrrell Hatton.
Aguilar, a two-time winner on the European Tour, turned in 34 after gains on the fourth and eighth but came to life after the turn as he picked up further shots on the tenth, 11th, 14th, 16th and 18th.
He made it to the weekend in Shenzhen last week after missing six straight cuts and he admitted his body had been feeling the strain after taking part in an ironman triathlon over the festive period.
“I started pretty unstable at the start of the year,” said Aguilar. “I missed several cuts by one or two shots and I wasn’t putting very well, missing shots that I usually don’t. I guess now I believe my doctors when they said I would struggle to recover my fitness from doing an ironman competition.
“They said I would struggle for about two months afterwards and I actually did because it’s such fine margins in this sport. I haven’t done much exercise in recuperating my body, but I have been doing a lot of work lately so hopefully this will do it.”
Noren was unblemished in a second consecutive 67, recording birdies on the 13th, 15th, first, third and sixth.
Wiesberger was delighted with his opening 65 in the windier conditions on Thursday afternoon and followed that with a 69. The Austrian turned in level par 36 after starting on the tenth and back-to-back birdies on the fifth and sixth added to a gain on the first.
The second round will resume at 6.45am on Saturday morning.