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Korean Choi takes two-shot China Open lead

  • Story Highlights
  • Korean Choi Ho-sung cards four late birdies to hold a two-stroke lead in China
  • 35-year-old records a 67 to lead Chapchai Nirat and 2007 winner Markus Brier
  • Englishman Nick Dougherty dropped away to a 79 after briefly leading the field
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(CNN) -- Korean Choi Ho-sung produced four birdies over the back nine to establish a two-stroke lead after a second-round 67 in the Volvo China Open in Beijing.

Choi hit four birdies in his last nine holes to take the lead after 36 holes of the China Open.

Choi hit four birdies in his last nine holes to take the lead after 36 holes of the China Open.

On an afternoon that saw several names at the top of the leaderboard including the English trio of Nick Dougherty, Simon Dyson and Richard Finch, it was some inspired putting which put Choi in front on six-under-par.

Chapchai Nirat and 2007 winner Markus Brier share second on four-under, while Irishman Paul McGinley fired a sparkling 67 to climb to three-under alongside Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano in a tie for fourth.

Dyson and Finch finished two-under after rounds of 73 and 71, respectively, while Dougherty struggled over the back nine, coming home in 43 to sign for a 79 and three-over.

Brier held a one-stroke advantage overnight on five-under but a pair of bogey fives at the first two holes saw the Austrian slip down the leaderboard, allowing Dougherty to assume the lead after the 26-year-old birdied the third.

But that was as good as it got for Dougherty, whose round subsequently fell apart. That allowed Dyson to join Chapchai, who had carded a morning 71, and Brier, who had overcome his inauspicious start, at the top of the pile.

However, it proved a brief stay for Dyson, as he recorded a triple-bogey seven at the 11th. And, although he pulled a shot back at the 13th, a double-bogey at the 14th -- when he found the water -- compounded Dyson's misery further.

Finch moved to five-under and first place outright with birdies at the 12th and 13th following but he could not hold on to his advantage either as some poor chipping led to a double bogey at the 14th and that was followed by another dropped shot at the 15th.

That gave Choi the chance to establish an unexpected lead and, after the 35-year-old made a crucial par save on the 12th having birdied the previous two holes, he rolled in a 10-footer for birdie on the 13th and from the fringe on the 14th to move to seven-under.

A bogey at the 15th brought him back to within two of the chasing pack but the Korean was satisfied he hung in after a poor start that saw him drop a shot at the first hole. "I three-putted the first hole and then I had to work hard for the rest of my round and I'm going to take that through the rest of the tournament," he told PA Sport.

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