Guthrie defies winds to stay ahead
American Luke Guthrie remained the man to catch after the second round of the BMW Masters, extending his lead to four shots on a rollercoaster day at Lake Malaren.
Guthrie added a 71 to his opening 65 to finish eight under par in Shanghai, with English duo Simon Dyson and Paul Casey, Scottish pair Scott Jamieson and Craig Lee, Argentina's Ricardo Gonzalez and Thailand's Thongchai Jaidee all sharing second place on four under.
"I think anything in the red today was a good score. The winds were back up, it was a little cooler even and I forgot my sweater so I was a little cold out there," said Guthrie, who made the 7,000-mile journey to China after finishing fifth on the PGA Tour in Las Vegas on Sunday.
"I played solid again, made a few more bogeys which was disappointing and hit a few poor shots, but hung in there and posted something in the red.
"It's only halfway, there is so much more golf to go. I think the weather is maybe supposed to get a little better so I'll have to come out here ready to go and put some red numbers on the board."
Guthrie was three clear of the field overnight after a flawless opening 65 and quickly extended his advantage with a birdie on the first when play resumed in slightly calmer conditions on Friday.
The 23-year-old's lead fluctuated throughout the round and was finally reduced to a single shot when Dyson birdied the par-five 15th, only for Guthrie to follow with his own birdie minutes later in the group behind.
Dyson then ran up a double-bogey six on the 18th after needing two shots to escape from a greenside bunker, while Guthrie holed from 20ft for a birdie on the 17th before a bogey on the last.
"It's a tough course and anything under par is good, but it's a shame to double the last like I did," said Dyson, who at 66th in the Race to Dubai is looking to climb into the top 60 to qualify for the season-ending DP World Tour Championship in Dubai next month.
"I didn't hit a bad drive and it kicked right into the rough. It wasn't a great lie and I maybe tried to do too much with it, it snagged way left on me and I had a 30-yard bunker shot that was semi-plugged.
"I left it in the bunker, thought I hit a good bunker shot for my fourth, but it didn't get any spin and released about 12ft past and I missed it coming back; easy to make a six, you do all that hard work and drop two shots at the last but apart from that I was really pleased."
Gonzalez carded the lowest round of the day - a 67 - that featured six birdies and just one bogey on the 18th, while Jamieson's only bogey of the day also came on the 18th as he returned a 68.
"I played well yesterday too and then let it go the last couple of holes on either nine, so it was nice to finish off a good round today," Jamieson said.
"I was only four shots out of second place (starting the day), three rounds is a lot of golf as is another two to go, so we'll be trying to play catch-up even more."
The highlight of Lee's second successive 70 came on the 16th, where he holed his approach for an eagle two to follow a birdie on the 15th.
"Just when I was starting to get frustrated about not really moving forward and then 'Bang', I hole a four-iron straight into the wind from 188 yards," said Lee, who is 62nd on the money list. "It always helps the scorecard, especially after a birdie on the hole before.
"I was getting quite frustrated, I played nicely early doors and left a few out there and then dropped a couple of shots and before you know it you are falling down the leaderboard, but that brought me back up there.
"The wind is brutal out there. You have to strike it so well when you are playing in that wind and it's a bit of a mental slog out there."
Former world number ones Lee Westwood and Rory McIlroy are seven shots off the lead on one under, with Race to Dubai leader Henrik Stenson two over after struggling to a 74.
Stenson has a lead of 425,573 euros (£362,660) over Graeme McDowell on the money list, McDowell also shooting 74 to finish level par.
John Daly and Peter Uihlein, who made up an American one-two-three after the first round, struggled to rounds of 74 and 75 to lie two under and level par respectively.