Tayto Northern Ireland Open in partnership with Ulster Bank leader Wil Besseling is ahead by just one shot as Ben Stow carded a birdie on the final hole after returning to Galgorm Castle Golf Club on Saturday morning to complete his second round.
Play was suspended on Friday night just after nine o’clock and the Englishman was one of 51 golfers still out on the course who had to return on Saturday morning to complete their rounds.
The 24 year old returned to finish three holes and carded a birdie on the last hole to move to eight under par, joining compatriot Paul Maddy and New Zealand’s Ryan Fox one shot behind Besseling, who carded a six under par second round.
“It was a bit scrappy this morning, I didn’t get much sleep last night,” said Stow. “But I’m really happy to have got round for level par on those last five holes.
“It wasn’t good golf, but I made up for it with the putter. My game is in good shape though, and I’m putting and chipping well. So I’ll keep working away.”
Defending champion Clément Sordet carded a second round 64 to surge up the leaderboard into a share of fifth place after a level par opening round.
The Frenchman joins Dominic Foos, Dylan Frittelli, Bjorn Hellgren and Michael Hoey on seven under par.
Foos shot seven birdies and an eagle en route to a six under par 65.
“I started my round with a bogey on ten, which is a par five; that wasn’t the best start but I hung in there.
“Then, at one stage, I shot three birdies, par, eagle, par and birdie – that was a good stretch!
“It was very exhausting having to play 27 holes yesterday. But it was a good day.”
Tournament ambassador, and local favourite, Michael Hoey, had three holes to play on Saturday morning, finishing with a birdie and two pars to move to seven under par.
“It was fine having to come in the morning,” said Hoey. “I could have probably birdied all three holes, but I birdied one and I’m now in a decent position. I made the cut, and by six shots, which I haven’t done for a few years.
“I’m keeping my rhythm and putting my well. You never know, but I’m happy to be in a good position.”
Eight golfers sit a shot further back on six under par.
The third round commenced at 11am local time, with a two tee start.