Bernd Wiesberger led by four shots after shooting a 65 in the second round of the Shenzen International when storms brought a premature end to play for the second day running.
The Austrian had returned to the Genzon Golf Club course on Friday morning to complete his opening round, held over from Thursday after the threat of lightning had led to a suspension which saw several players unable to finish.
After resuming, Wiesberger birdied the 17th en route to carding a 67 that saw him move within one of the lead.
He then picked up seven more shots in the second round to complete the day on 12 under.
With none of the afternoon players having completed more than nine holes of their second rounds before play was brought to another early finish, Wiesberger’s closest challengers were Dylan Frittelli and Thorbjorn Olesen, who both posted 68s for the second successive day.
Scotland’s Richie Ramsay was a shot back after also carding a 68, leaving him alongside Gregory Bourdy and first-round leader Bubba Watson, who were on course when the hooter sounded.
Wiesberger, who has finished in the top five seven times in the last eight months, told the European Tour website: “I can’t complain about the score today. It was a long day, I got up at 0430 to finish a couple of holes.
“I started well and picked up from the day before. I hit a drive down 17 early in the morning and got my round in of 67 so I was pleased with that and I kept going that way, driving the ball nicely and putting really well.
“I was feeling comfortable when I was getting the ball on the green and rolling in well on the green, so that was key for me today to get something in the mid 60s.
“I played a few holes on Tuesday and I said to my caddie it feels like a course that suits me and suits my game. I knew I was playing decent coming into this week.”
The second round will resume at 0630 on Saturday, with the third round due to go off two tees later in the morning.