SHANGHAI (Reuters) - Frenchman Julien Quesne fired a five-under-par 67 to grab the halfway lead at the China Open on Friday after his compatriot and defending champion Alexander Levy faltered over the closing stages of his second round.
The 34-year-old Quesne made six birdies in Shanghai to put himself in sight of his third European Tour title and first since 2013.
His eight-under total left him one clear of Levy, who looked set to grab the halfway lead before finding water with his approach at the par-four 16th and double bogeying the hole.
Levy, also 34 and looking for his third European title, followed with another bogey at the par-three 17th but birdied his last to move within one on seven under after a 68, alongside American Peter Uihlein (67).
Thailand’s Kiradech Aphibarnrat, who won last week’s European Tour title in Shenzhen, moved into contention for another victory after firing a 68 early on Friday to move into a tie for fourth.
Italy’s Matteo Manassero matched the Thai’s mark with Wu Ashun (66) and Li Hao-tong (68) leading the local charge to join the pair at five-under.
Writing by Patrick Johnston in Singapore, editing by Ed Osmond