Paul McGinley was breathing a sigh of relief and thanking the putting angels as he carded his first sub-70 round for three months at the Volvo China Open.

Languishing 215th in the Race to Dubai with just two cuts made from six starts worldwide this year, the Dubliner rediscovered his putting touch to card a bogey-free, five-under par 67 and leap into contention in Beijing.

Paul McGinley ended his putting torture in ChinaJust three shots behind surprise leader Choi Ho-Sung on three-under par, the Dubliner was delighted with the turnaround in his fortunes on the greens.

"I played pretty well yesterday and putted really, really poorly," said McGinley, whose last sub-70 round came in January's Abu Dhabi Championship. "Today I played pretty much the same and putted fantastic. That's the difference. A 74 yesterday and a 67 today. it just shows you the difference the putter can make.

"I really putted well. Every putt I missed today was because I misread it. Whereas yesterday I couldn't get the ball on line at all and I was dreading the two and three footers and missed a few of them. 

"I don't know ... the putting angels or something came during the night. I felt great over it today and hit good putt after good putt and holed a few long ones on the front nine from 30 feet or 35 feet.  

"It's been a worrying start to the season, I've played decently but if I putted better I'd have played better.

"I had a good start to last season, I was leading the green in regulations this time last year even though I didn't have any big finishes before the Ballantines and my statistics were really good but this year they haven't been and it's been a worry.

"I've been working pretty hard. I've been afraid of missing greens because chipping to three and four feet has been a problem, my chipping's been quite good but my putting hasn't."

McGinley had 26 putts compared to 27 in round one but struck the ball better from tee to green.

He said: "The putter's made a big difference as I got a lot more aggressive with my iron shots which was great, my iron play got better as the day went on.

"I played very well and hit 14 greens in regulation, which is a lot of greens to hit around this course.

"It's a not a golf course you can overpower like those ones in the desert we started the season with. The more I play this game, the more I realise it's horses for courses in the professional game nowadays, a lot of the courses we play are power golf courses.

"I wouldn't call this a power golf course. Having said that, it can be quite a frustrating golf course because a good shot doesn't necessarily get rewarded so patience is a big factor and you've got to pick your way around the golf course.

"You don't hit driver off all the tees, you've got to hit fairways so you can spin the ball as best you can but it's a golf course you've got to pick at rather than stand up and overpower.

"Normally when I'm five under after nine I am thinking course record but this course is a little bit different.

"I think the back nine is yielding more birdie opportunities than the front nine and I took advantage of that.

"The front nine is probably two shots tougher. There's only one hole on the whole front nine you're hitting a wedge into and the only par five is the ninth, which you're nowhere near getting on in two."

Gareth Maybin (70) and defending champion Damien McGrane (74) made the cut with two shots to spare on two-over par.

But Peter Lawrie (77) missed out by a shot on five-over with Gary Murphy (78) six shots off the pace on 10-over par.