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Friday, 23 April 2010
Rhys Davies  (Getty Images)
Rhys Davies (Getty Images)

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In-form rookie Rhys Davies and Robert Rock moved within two shots of first-round clubhouse leader Marcus Fraser on the second morning of the weather-affected Ballantine's Championship, which has been reduced to 54 holes.

Australian Fraser topped the leaderboard on Thursday after carding a bogey-free seven-under-par 65, with Worksop's Mark Foster a shot further adrift blazing six birdies and an eagle in a six under 66.

But after six hours were lost due to fog, only 36 players were able to complete their first rounds and the majority of the field returned on Friday morning to clear skies and a light breeze.

Davies, who finished joint runner-up last week at the Volvo China Open, completed a five under par first round with a final-hole par, while Rock picked up a birdie at the last after playing three holes as the pair joined Korea's Ted Oh two shots off the pace.

"It was a little frustrating, we had an incident last night (Thursday) where we were on the 17th green and it looked like the the hooter was about to go and I was about to run up to the last and hit off, because if we hit off, we could finish, but the hooter went as we were running up to the tee and we had to come back at seven this morning," said 24-year-old Davies.

"Yesterday was a long day. It did take a long time, but it was same for everybody and I suppose in a way we don't have to play 36 holes today so that might be a bonus.

"But having said that, I was able to switch off when I wasn't playing and when I got out there, I felt pretty fresh and ready, so I think that was important."

With the weather forecast for the weekend suggesting more fog and further delays, officials have already made the decision to cut the tournament to 54 holes with the final round to be played on Sunday after a traditional 36 hole cut.

"Following the delays to the first round and after reviewing the amount of golf completed yesterday, it has become clear that the completion of 72 holes within the required time frame is not feasible," said a statement from tournament directors John Paramor & Jitti Tamprasert.

"Therefore, the 2010 Ballantine's Championship will be decided over three rounds (54 holes)."

Welshman Jamie Donaldson and Australia's Rick Kulacz both sat two shots off the pace overnight, but unlike Davies and Rock, made disappointing finishes to their first round on Friday to drop back to four-under-par alongside a group including in-form trio Oliver Fisher, Ernie Els and Anthony Kim.

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Tournament Leaderboard

Pos Player nameNatHolePar
1FRASER, MarcusAUS18-12
T2MAYBIN, GarethNIR18-8
T2RUMFORD, BrettAUS18-8
T4NOH, Seung-yulKOR18-7
T4FISHER, OliverENG18-7
T6DONALDSON, JamieWAL18-6
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