Friday, 29 July 2016

Seven golfers remain at the top of the Tayto Northern Ireland Open in partnership with Ulster Bank leaderboard after the first round was completed on Friday afternoon, following a six-hour delay on Thursday.

Heavy rains forced the lengthy delay at Galgorm Castle Golf Club on Thursday as 35mm fell – nearly 18 times the average rainfall for this time of year.

Irishman Rory McNamara shot the pick of the rounds as he carded a bogey-free 65, including a finish of an eagle and three birdies.

He is joined at the top of the leaderboard by compatriot, and former European Tour winner, Damian McGrane. Dylan Frittelli, Daniel Gaunt, Sam

Hutsby, Bernd Ritthammer and Ben Stow also shot six under par to take a share of the clubhouse lead.

Ryan Fox and Renier Saxton were two of a number of golfers forced to complete their rounds on Friday morning and sit a shot back after carding rounds of 66.

Fox, who won Le Vaudreuil Golf Challenge last year, finished with two birdies to join Saxton and Adrien Saddier on five under par.

A group of ten golfers are tied on four under par, including Portugal’s Ricardo Santos.

“I didn’t start the round with good feelings, but I had a huge putt on the first and that gave me the motivation for the rest of the day,” said Santos.

“Then I made two mistakes, but minus four is a solid round and I was particularly solid on the back nine.

“It was frustrating having to wait in the clubhouse for six hours yesterday but this happens sometimes.”

Defending champion Clément Sordet shot a level par 71 in his first round.

For Saturday’s third round, there will be a two-tee start after the completion of the second round.

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