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Friday, 26 April 2013
 Wade Ormsby  (Getty Images)
Wade Ormsby (Getty Images)

Two late birdies saw Australian Wade Ormsby grab a share of the clubhouse lead after two days of the Ballantine’s Championship.

The 33 year old, who has come through The European Tour Qualifying School on four occasions but is playing this week as a member of the co-sanctioning Asian Tour, compiled a five under par 67.

Aligned with his opening round 70, that took Ormsby to seven under par for the week, alongside Thailand’s Arnond Vongvanij, who was round in 69.

After over two hours were lost to poor visibility on Thursday, it was lightning which delayed proceedings today, with 80 minutes lost leaving half the field to return early on Saturday to complete their rounds.

One of 70 players to return early this morning to complete their opening rounds, Ormsby charged into contention with an outward 32 in his second round, before a bogey at the second checked his progress.

However, having won his first professional title earlier this month at the Panasonic Open India, Ormsby continued his good form with long-range putts at the seventh and ninth – his 16th and 18th – to take the lead.

"My game's in pretty good shape, I had the last two weeks at home practising so it was nice to come out here and keep the form going," said Ormsby.

"I three-putted (the second) just before the suspension and on the third and fourth I struggled for the speed of the greens straight out of the blocks; I was a bit tentative and left a couple short but then made two bombs in the last three."

Vongvanij, who also won his first Asian Tour title recently, said: “I'm just happy with the way I played and wherever the score stands, I'll still stick to my game plan tomorrow and go from there.

“If you just focus on your game, then it will always work out for the best.” 

South African Jbe Kruger, Swede Alex Noren and England’s James Morrison were one behind in the clubhouse.

Noren survived a surprise encounter with some local wildlife to move into contention - playing his approach to the second hole when a deer sprang out of the undergrowth just a few yards away.

The 30 year old had thankfully finished his swing before noticing the animal as it scampered away, but still jumped slightly in shock before giving a quizzical look towards a nearby television camera.

Noren, three times a winner on The European Tour, went on to par the hole and then finished his second round in style with four birdies in his last six holes.

Pre-tournament favourite Louis Oosthuizen was three shots off the pace on four under after completing a 69 this morning and then adding a round of 71.

The former Open Champion carded two birdies and 15 pars, with his solitary bogey coming on the ninth - his final hole - when he failed to get up and down from left of the green.

England’s Tommy Fleetwood suffered more than most with the delay – seven under and playing beautifully with two to play when the klaxon sounded, the 22 year old bogeyed both holes on his return to drop to five under.

Most of the later starters were struggling to make an impression on the leaderboard, but Scotland's Stephen Gallacher reached five under par after going to the turn in 34 and picking up another shot on the 12th.

First round joint-leaders Johan Edfors, Matthew Baldwin and Kim Gi-whan were all one over for the day and four under overall, with Australian Kieran Pratt three over for nine holes and back to two under for the tournament.

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Tournament Leaderboard

Pos Player nameNatHolePar
1RUMFORD, BrettAUS18-11
T2FRASER, MarcusAUS18-11
T2WHITEFORD, PeterSCO18-11
4WATTEL, RomainFRA18-9
5OOSTHUIZEN, LouisRSA18-8
T6KIM, Hyung-sungKOR18-7
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