Fleetwood in fine form as play resumes

4/26/2013 6:23:00 AM
Tommy Fleetwood   (Getty Images)
Tommy Fleetwood (Getty Images)
England's Tommy Fleetwood was showing few signs of fatigue despite a very early start on day two of the weather-delayed Ballantine's Championship.

Fleetwood was among the 78 players who returned to the Blackstone Golf Club at 7:30am to complete their opening rounds after a delay of just over two hours on Thursday caused by rain and fog.

But after parring the 18th, the only hole he had left, to complete an opening 68, Fleetwood soon went from one off the pace to the top of the leaderboard.

Starting from the tenth, Fleetwood birdied the 13th from 15 feet and after dropping a shot at the 17th bounced back in style with an eagle three on the 18th after an approach to 20 feet.

A birdie at the first was quickly cancelled out by a bogey on the second, but a birdie on the par five fifth took Fleetwood to seven under par.

That was one ahead of Australian Wade Ormsby, who had seven holes remaining, and two clear of pre-tournament favourite Louis Oosthuizen.

World Number Seven Oosthuizen had bogeyed the 17th when play resumed this morning to card an opening 69, but picked up two shots in 14 holes of his second round.

Fleetwood topped the Challenge Tour Rankings in 2011 but struggled to replicate that form in his rookie European Tour season last year, leaving it until the last tournament to keep his card for 2013.

Speaking after his first round, he said: "I hit it really well yesterday. I actually hit it well last week as well, but just didn't really score well.

"I had a good day on the range yesterday, and then took it out onto the course with me. To birdie the first was the perfect start, then I had a stretch of pars where I was hitting it really well but just couldn't get a putt to drop - even though the longest one was from about 15 feet.

"Some days you're pushing it or pulling it towards the pin, but I wasn't. It was a shame that I had to stop last night, because I felt I had a lot of momentum going.

"So it wasn't ideal to come back this morning with just one hole left to play, and I didn't particularly enjoy the 4.30am alarm call! It's going to be a long day, but hopefully a good one."

First round joint-leaders Matthew Baldwin, Johan Edfors, Kim Gi-whan, Jean-Baptiste Gonnet and Kieran Pratt, who all signed for rounds of 67, were among the afternoon starters.

Fleetwood remained seven under after 16 holes before play was suspended due to the threat of lightning in the area.

It looked like being a relatively short delay, with tournament officials soon announcing play would resume at 2:30pm local time.