Paul Dunne battled his swing and a marathon day but came out on top with a second round 69 leaving him tied third behind clubhouse leader Soomin Lee in the Shenzen International.
The Greystones rookie was off first at 7.30am but having had to endure two weather delays and some swing gremlins, he was delighted to move to seven under par at Genzon Golf Club.
“I’m really pleased with that,” said Dunne, who bogeyed the first and then birdied the third before play was suspended due to a thunderstorm.
“It was kind of a weird day - yesterday my swing felt very comfortable and today I felt like I was fighting it a little bit.
“I’m kind of proud of how I hung in there, after a bit of a ropey start and to be able to get a decent round out of it.”
Dunne, 23, bogeyed the fourth on resumption of play but birdied the seventh and eighth and then eagled the 13th as a second delay forced players off again.
In total, six hours were lost to the weather and 35 players have yet to start their second rounds with another 55 yet to finish.
“It’s been an interesting day,” Dunne said. "I had a half seven tee time, you get here at half six and you finish at nearly six. It's been a long day. I’m glad it's finished, and I'm glad I get a lie in tomorrow while everyone has to wake up and finish their second round.
“The first delay today was at an awkward time. I was on the third green. I had a good tee time at half seven — have breakfast and get in at lunch time. But with that delay, it made my tee time awkward. You didn’t know when to eat as I played through lunch. So the second delay helped in that I came in, had some food and went back out.”
Making just his 10th European Tour appearance as a professional and ranked 114th in the Race to Dubai, Dunne is slowly learning the ropes on tour.
“I feel comfortable out here,” he said. "It depends on each week. Every course is different. Some courses suit your eye and some don’t.
“I think that determines how comfortable you feel each week and this week I have felt comfortable on the course.
“I will do a little work on the range to hopefully iron out a few creases out for tomorrow. It has been two decent days’ work but there is a long way to go and hopefully I can continue.”
Michael Hoey looks unlikely to make the cut on three over after a fine 71 but leader Lee, 22, is not concerned about that number.
The young Korean continues to make a name for himself as one of the hottest prospects in Asian golf, storming into a three shot lead by moving to 13 under par courtesy of a flawless seven under 65.
Four time European Tour winner Joost Luiten, after the Dutchman signed for a six under 66 which included an eagle two at the 11th hole - his second - where he holed out with a sand wedge.
Rising stars Dunne and South Africa’s Brandon Stone (70) were three shots further back on seven under par.
Levy made a solid start late on as he aimed to shore up the gap with his first round co-leader, parring his first three holes before being called in, while Lee Slattery of England was making good ground thanks to four birdies in his first five holes to join his French counterpart on six under.
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“Today I was very excited about my round because I made a lot of putts, and his good, straight shots so everything was perfect. I have two more days now to try and stay bogey free. I feel this course is good for me because there are soft greens and heavy rough. I like it when there is heavy rough so that's good for me.
“The breaks were okay because after I made three birdies, I felt a little bit off and I needed some rest, so that was actually good for me. On the third day I try just need to stick to my game and stay focused on keeping my score bogey free. At the Malaysia Open, I got a second place finish, so that was really good for me, and now I feel a bit more comfortable in the lead than I did in Malaysia.”
“I'm happy, but felt like I left a couple shots out there after the last break. I missed three short putts on my last five holes, and so you come off the course with a little bit of an annoying feeling.
“But all in all, it's been a really good day for me. I hit the ball nicely, especially the first 11 or 12 holes, and I'm also rolling the ball nice on the greens, making some good putts. So six under is just a very good score on this golf course I guess.
“The first suspension, I came back and I was on the birdie train straightaway, so that was good. The second time, I had a bit more trouble getting into the round. But sometimes you just get into it straightaway and sometimes you struggle a little bit. It's been a long day but all the guys need to deal with it and that's not an excuse.”
“I'm just glad we got done. It really was a long day, a 4:30am wake‑up call this morning and now walking off the course at 6.30, it's not ideal. But to walk off two‑under par for the day is not too bad.
“The conditions were quite fair to be honest. During the delays, obviously it got quite nasty, but when we got out there it was really nice. I’m quite disappointed with 70 because I played good golf. I had 32 putts today for two under par, so it shows you that the putter was a little bit cold. I hit it great, but hopefully I’m just saving the putts for the weekend."