SHENZHEN, China – Peter Uihlein made five birdies in gusty conditions and shot a 4-under 68 Friday to take a one-stroke lead after the second round of the Shenzhen International.
The American started his round on the 10th hole and was 1 under on the back nine, where the strong wind made play more difficult. He then added three birdies on the front nine to finish at 9-under 135 total.
''It was tricky today. The wind was swirling quite a bit,'' said Uihlein, whose only previous win on the European Tour came at the 2013 Madeira Islands Open. ''I got the back nine out of the way pretty quickly. I played very solid. I felt like getting anything under par on the back nine was nice, and I played a pretty stress free front nine, which is always good.''
Kiradech Aphibarnrat matched Uihlein's five birdies, but added two bogeys to shoot a 69 and finish one shot behind.
''Again, the wind was getting up on a few holes before I finished, but the way I was striking the ball is still very good,'' the Thai player said.
Emiliano Grillo matched the low round of the day with a 5-under 67 to move into a tie for third with Gregory Havret, Darren Fichardt and Matt Ford. They were three shots behind Uihlein at 6-under 138.
Two-time Masters champion Bubba Watson shot a 2-over 74 to slip into a tie for 42nd. He made the cut, but was unimpressed by his form.
''It's tough,'' Watson said. ''I haven't played very well. I haven't putted very well. But it's a beautiful golf course.''
Watson was at 144 overall, nine shots behind Uihlein.