Friday, 04 May 2001
Heavy rain coupled with a threat of lightning forced a three hour 35 minute suspension of play in the Credit Suisse Private Banking Open at Ascona in Switzerland but not before Lee James returned 66 to lead.

Although action resumed late in the day, only just over half the field of 156 completed their second rounds, the rest will return to the Patriziali course at 7.30am on Saturday morning.

But the conditions didn't hamper James. The 28-year-old Englishman benefitted from an early start and completed a second successive 66 to lead the field on 10-under-par 132.

He is two shots clear of Frenchman Pascal Edmond and three ahead of Finland's Kalle Vainola and Federico Bisazza from Italy.

James, who began at the 10th tee, built the foundation for his success with back-to-back eagles at the 11th and 12th holes. Despite dropping shots either side of the turn, a run of four birdies in a row from the 4th put him back on track and it would have been even better but for another bogey at the 8th.

While James was making the most of his more kinder conditions, overnight leader Gary Clark was one of several players to suffer. The 30-year-old Londoner followed up his opening 63, containing an eagle and seven birdies, with a 73, which included a lone birdie and three dropped shots.

He is on 136 along with Scotland's Euan Little and Pehr Magnebrant of Sweden, both of whom returned second successive 68s, and Italy’s Gianluca Baruffaldi, who went round in 71.

Another Englishman, Stuart Little, who had a first round 66, added a 72 for 137, being joined by Irishman Damian McGrane and Jean Pierre Cixous of France, while Andrew Sherborne, the winner in Italy last week, looks like missing the cut after a second round 74 for 143.

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