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Hanson Rises to Top of BMW Masters


Sweden's Peter Hanson has shot rounds of 66 and 64 to take over the lead in the $7 million BMW Masters. The European Tour event began Thursday at Lake Malaren Golf Club near Shanghai, China.

Hanson's second-round 8-under 64 came off nine birdies and a bogey - the latter coming on the par-4 first hole - to give him a 36-total of 14-under 130, two strokes clear of 2012 Ryder Cup European teammate Rory McIlroy, who's posted rounds of 67 and 65.

"It's amazing how many good rounds can start with a bogey," Hanson said of the start of his second round. "The key to my good two rounds is that I've birdied all the par-5s, which can help dramatically around this place."

The 35-year-old told reporters Friday afternoon that his confidence has been buoyed by his experience at Medinah Country Club near Chicago, where the Euros regained the Ryder Cup. Hanson has now been part of two straight winning European teams in the biennial competition.

"The biggest difference in my career compared to earlier times, is that I am playing better in the bigger events like the majors and the World Golf Championships that has helped my confidence quite a lot," he said.

"Also, being a part of the Ryder Cup team, and being high up the world rankings, you feel you maybe belong a bit more competing alongside the best players."

McIroy, the No. 1-ranked player in the world and BMW Masters defending champion, posted four birdies on the front nine and three more on the back for his 7-under effort Friday.

He credited his score to good scrambling. "When I did need to make a par here or there, I was able to save those, and I'm in a great position going into the weekend," he said.

The 23-year-old from Northern Ireland is on the home stretch of his quest to duplicate what England's Luke Donald did last year: win the money lists on both the PGA and European tours. He likes where he's at heading into the weekend in China. "It looks quite routine at the moment," he said.

"The more you put yourself in this position, the more comfortable you become with it. I like the fact that most weeks I tee it up, I can get myself in contention. This is just another one of those weeks, and I'll try and continue that for as long as I can."

Alone in third at 135 is Sweden's Robert Karlsson, who shot a 64 Friday, while another stroke back are Ireland's Shane Lowry (64), England's Justin Rose (68), Sweden's Alexander Noren (68) and Welshman Jamie Donaldson, who took the 18-hole lead with a 62 but posted a 74 in the second round.

Sharing eighth at 137 are Donald (67), Nicolas Colsaerts (68), David Lynn (68), Charl Schwartzel (68), George Coetzee (68), Martin Kaymer (69), Louis Oosthuizen (69) and Michael Hoey (70).

Donald, Colsaerts and Kaymer were also part of the victorious 2012 European Ryder Cup team; in all, 11 members of the squad are playing in Shanghai.

For complete scoring details, visit http://www.europeantour.com/europeantour/season=2012/tournamentid=2012082/leaderboard/index.html?showLeaderboard=Y.