Grinder McGrane lurking in Beijing

Grinder Damien McGrane produced a sensational short game display to lurk one-shot off the lead in the Volvo China Open in Beijing.

Damien McGrane

Battling windy condition, the Meath machine followed nine straight pars with a birdie at the 10th and a chip-in eagle three at the long 13th for a bogey-free 69 that included 10 par scrambles from 10 attempts.

That left him tied for second with England's Richard Finch on seven-under par and just one shot behind French rookie Michael Lorenzo-Vera.

McGrane chipped from the apron of the 13th from 25 feet for a sweet three on a day when Graeme McDowell's 72 left him nine shots off the pace on one-over par.

After an opening 79, Peter Lawrie made a valiant effort to make the cut when he played the first 11 holes in three under with no dropped shots.

But three late bogeys gave him a level par 72 that left him three shots outside the mark on seven-over with Gary Murphy (77) a shot back.

McGrane is seeking his maiden win after going close in India in February, when he was second in the Indian Masters in Delhi.

After a testing, windy day at CBD International, McGrane said: "It was difficult today. Yesterday morning we were spoiled and got the best of the weather. There were difficult crosswinds all the time and I used my short game to par my way home and make the most of my score.

"Three under was as good a score as I could have shot today and obviously it is nice to do it.

"I had a lot of chip and putts and gave myself a lot of room around the flags. I didn't short-side myself too often.

"It is a grinder's course and I was certainly grinding all day today.

"The wind changed direction a few times. You had to trust it. But it doesn't take from my game, I am somewhat used to it and it helps me focus my mind on the job in hand. A little bit of air out there, I've never found it to do me any harm.

"I have played a lot of good golf this year. I said the same last year. I played a lot of good golf and didn't make the most of it. I am there or thereabout and another opportunity awaits.

"It is a learning curve we're all on we have to use the experience we come across as a golfer. I am just expecting now to go out and play solid over the weekend and hopefully be in the shuffle come Sunday afternoon.

"Ten or 12 under would be a good golf. But this course doesn't give away much. Apart from my eagle, the course hardly gave me anything all day. I didn't concede any bogeys, which was satisfying."