Dane Soren Hansen and Angelo Que headed a seven-way tie at the top of the Maybank Malaysian Open leaderboard.
Hansen and Que set the clubhouse lead at seven-under-par after posting second rounds of five-under-par 67 in the energy-sapping humidity at Kuala Lumpur Golf & Country Club.
First round joint leader Rhys Davies remained at his overnight mark after seven holes of his second round with in-form Asian number one Thongchai Jaidee, South Korea’s Kim Dae-hyun, Spain’s Alejandro Canizares and Thailand’s Kiradech Aphibarnrat making inroads to earn a share of the one-shot lead before play was suspended just before 4pm local time.
Kiradech made the biggest gain with three birdies over his opening nine holes, with Canizares two-under-par through 12, while Thongchai and Kim managed solitary gains.
Like Hansen and Que, Australia’s Brett Rumford dropped just one shot in his 67 to sit safely in the clubhouse six-under-par alongside KJ Choi, Johan Edfors and joint first-round leader Ignacio Garrido.
“The heat is the hardest battle for us Europeans this week,” said world number 50 Hansen. “But I like the golf course, it is a good looking one so we will see what happens over the weekend.”
After posting a first round 70, Hansen started on the tougher back nine of the West Course and patiently played his opening nine holes in one-under-par after a superb four iron approach into par three 11th.
The two-time winner then took advantage of the scoring friendly front nine as Hansen charged up the leaderboard by picking up four shots in three holes capped by an eagle conversion at the par five fifth after flicking a nine iron downwind from 166 yards to 10 feet.
A first dropped shot of the day arrived a hole later, but the 35-year-old Monte Carlo resident completed a crucial five hole spell with a fourth birdie of the day.
“It was a good day, I played well,” added Hansen. “I made a birdie on 11 after a great four iron over the water at the par three, but didn’t take any of my chances on the back nine, which was my front nine.
“But then I made birdie on par five third and that go me going and then birdied the fourth and followed that up with an eagle and that was pretty much the round.
“There were a lot of pars but a spell of three really good holes and the 11th and that was it. I played solid tee to green but those three holes saved the day.”
Que also took advantage of the front nine with four consecutive gains in the middle his front nine before the 31-year-old Filipino birdied the last to join Hansen.
“I hit the same shots as yesterday and I hit some really good shots yesterday, but I holed more putts today,” said Que, who carded five birdies in a first round 70.
“I had a bad run from the sixth hole yesterday, but everything pretty worked out fine today expect for one hole. But five under on this course and in this heat is good.”
Further down the leaderboard, Peter Lawrie rescued a level par 72 second round to remain at three-under-par overall despite shipping a disastrous quintuple bogey 10 at the par five fifth after twice hitting out of bounds off the tee.