Rachel Bell hits a tee shot during the second round in Sanya, Hainan

China’s Pan Yan Hong delighted the home galleries as she maintained her overnight lead midway through round two at the Sanya Ladies Open in China.

The 28-year-old second year professional from Hebei near Beijing was eight under par after two rounds at Yalong Bay Golf Club, after carding a second round of three under 69.

Pan and her caddie/coach Wu Kangchun, who is a touring professional on the China PGA Champions Tour

Pan was a stroke ahead of Thailand’s 19-year-old Patcharajutar Kongkraphan, who was round in 69 as she seeks her first victory as a professional.  

However England’s Rachel Bell came charging through the leader board with a five under par 67 to end six under alongside Scotland’s Vikki Laing.

Bell, now in her fourth year as a Ladies European Tour professional, has yet to hit the heights as a despite a successful amateur career, representing Great Britain and Ireland on the 2007 Vagliano Team, but the 29-year-old from East Yorkshire took advantage of the cooler early morning conditions to make a brilliant start, with four birdies in her first eight holes. She then bogeyed the 10th and the 12th but birdied the 13th, 15th and 16th to improve to six under par.

“We were lucky because we teed off quite early this morning so we had nice conditions. It was quite still and wasn’t too hot. It was nice to play,” said Bell, ranked 117th on the Henderson Money List after 14 starts on the LET this season.

“I played quite well yesterday and everyone in our group played well yesterday. We all holed a lot of putts, which gives you a bit of confidence on the greens.

“I had two bogeys on 10 and 12 but they weren’t anything to worry about, really. I just missed the green and didn’t get up and down twice.

“I holed a good number of putts, putted quite well and I suppose your iron play has got to be good to give yourself putts to hole.

“My season hasn’t been as good as I would have liked but sometimes you can be playing well and the results don’t show it. Hopefully the results will come this week.”