England's David Lynn found himself on top of the leaderboard yesterday at the halfway stage of the 12th China Open, a tournament he had considered pulling out of earlier in the week because an infected boil on his groin was affecting his swing. 'On Wednesday I was wondering if I would be able to play as it started to fester. It was quite painful,' he said, adding that a doctor removed it just before he began the first round. 'He got his scalpel out, no anaesthetic and he cut away. He left quite a large hole. I was on the slab just before I went on the first tee. It was quite funny.' With the offending lesion out of the way, the 2004 KLM Open champion hit nine birdies on the Beijing Honghua International course to head up the field at nine under par, with three players just one shot off the pace. Thai Prayad Marksaeng hit a 67 to finish on eight under, level with Zimbabwe's Marc Cayeux and Portugal's Jose-Filipe Lima. Prayad has fond memories of Beijing, winning this tournament 10 years ago and taking the Crowne Plaza Open last year. 'My performance has always been good here. And I'm feeing good about playing well here this week,' he said. Chasing the leaders on six under are Scott Drummond from Scotland, Rahil Gangjee from India and Frenchman Christian Cevaer, with last year's winner Paul Casey and his compatriot Simon Dyson joining a pack of six on five under. Among them was burly South African Nico van Rensburg, who hit the best round of the day with an eight-under 64. Going into the third day with his nose in front, Lynn joked that the infected boil had helped his game. He was bitten by a scorpion at the Dunhill Championship in South Africa last December and ended up finishing fourth in a strong field headed by Ernie Els. 'I seem to like these things ... it takes my mind of the golf,' he said. 'If I can keep that going it will be good. I'd rather be leading than chasing. That's what I play for. I get a buzz leading a tournament.'