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Quesne leads the pack at China Open
24 Apr 2015 13:01
Italy's Matteo Manassero admitted he was not yet "out of the woods" despite enjoying a welcome return to form in the Volvo China Open on Friday.
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Manassero became the youngest ever winner of the BMW PGA Championship in 2013, claiming his fourth European Tour title at the age of 20 in a play-off at Wentworth.
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The 22-year-old has recorded just three top-10 finishes since then and missed the cut in his first five events this season, but a second round of 68 at Tomson Shanghai Pudong Golf Club left him just three shots off the lead held by France's Julien Quesne.
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Ireland’s Damien McGrane and Michael Hoey both finished outside the projected cut of two over par, Meath man McGrane shooting 75 to finish three over and Hoey’s 75 leaving the Ulsterman on seven over.
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"I'm playing very solid golf and I'm glad to have my confidence back and to be shooting some good scores again," Manassero said. "I like this course and it suits my game.
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"I struggled on the greens last week and I missed some shots to the right, which you couldn't afford to do on that course.
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"But this week I'm hitting it much straighter and I'm reading the greens much better, which is why I'm much nearer the top of the leaderboard.
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"It's now much less complicated for me to work through my process. And because I'm hitting it straighter and shooting lower scores, that obviously leads to your confidence coming back.
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"I'm not there yet and I don't want to say I'm completely out of the woods just yet, but everything is much clearer now and I'm definitely on a much better path. At least I can see the woods are finishing and I am glad to be standing in this position after two rounds."
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Quesne, whose last European Tour title came in the Italian Open in 2013, added a 67 to his opening 69 to finish eight under par, one shot ahead of compatriot and defending champion Alexander Levy and American Peter Uihlein.
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Levy looked set to claim the halfway lead until finding water with his approach on the 16th to run up a double bogey and dropping another shot on the 17th, although a birdie on the last completed a second round of 68.
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