Published Friday, 26 October 2012
Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy is faring well in Shanghai. (© Getty)
McIlroy carded a seven-under-par 65 on Friday, after a 67 at Lake Malaren the previous day.
Following the opening round, he and compatriot Michael Hoey had been tied - alongside Europe's Ryder Cup captain José María Olazábal - five shots off the early lead set by Jamie Donaldson.
But while McIlroy was closing the gap at the top of the table, Hoey's two-under-par 70 means he falls four places to sit joint eighth along with a number of other competitors.
Of his efforts on Friday, McIlroy said: "I played very well and gave myself a lot of opportunities.
"I saw Peter (Hanson) was going well and wanted to stay in touch. When I needed to get up and down, I was able to make those and then got on a nice little run."
Rory's going to be tough to beat, but hopefully I can give him a match.
Graeme McDowell's second round 71 leaves him straggling, while Darren Clarke's disappointing four-over-par 76 leaves him well down the field.
Welshman Donaldson will also be frustrated, having let his lead slip with a second round 74 which leaves him six shots behind Hanson.
For Hanson though, finding himself out on front, is a welcome boost.
Despite being the only European to draw a blank at the Ryder Cup, he's now being chased by all his teammates - bar the absent Sergio Garcia.
And he's especially hoping to keep the world number one at bay.
"Playing with the world number one is always fun - it used to be Tiger, now it's Rory," Hanson said.
"I like to test myself and there's no better way than head-to-head. It's a good way to test your mental abilities and if you can play well, it makes it so much nicer."