Englishman Aaron Rai carded a level-par 70 to take the clubhouse lead at the Irish Open, where play was suspended overnight due to darkness on day two at Galgorm Castle Golf Club.
There were still nine groups left to finish their second rounds before play was halted.
The 25-year-old, whose maiden victory came at the 2018 Hong Kong Open, birdied the last to position himself at five-under at the halfway mark.
“It was good. A bit of a mixed bag out there but I think it is to be expected, the course played so tough,” said Rai, who is looking for his second European Tour victory.
Rai is one stroke clear of fellow countryman Robert Rock, South Africa’s Dean Burmester and Swede Joakim Lagergren on four-under.
Burmester acknowledged that the conditions in Ballymena was tough but stated that he is pleased with his position heading into the weekend.
“It was a fight. I didn’t putt nearly as well as I did yesterday, so I’’l be off to the putting green shortly. I’m happy with the way I finished,” said the South African.
“Certainly with the wind today (the greens are tricky). A lot of the holes where you’re uphill, downhill towards the hole and straight down wind. Speed was key.
“I’m pretty happy. I’m surprised to be where I am. I’m just happy to have another go, I’ve been top ten a few times going into the weekend so hopefully we’ll play it a little better this weekend.”
Ryder Cup captain Padraig Harrington signed for a disappointing five-over 75 and a six-over total which sits one stroke outside of the cut mark, while reigning Open Championship winner Shane Lowry’s second round 72 and seven-over total meant he would not be at Galgorm for the weekend.
– Compiled by Sport24 staff
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