Louis Oosthuizen (Getty Images)
Former Open Champion Louis Oosthuizen was among a massive group of players in contention for the Ballantine's Championship as the tournament looked to make up for lost time.
After weather delays on the opening two days, the second round was completed this morning at Blackstone Golf Club, with Thailand's Kiradech Aphibarnrat completing a superb 66 to join compatriot Arnond Vongvanij and Australian Wade Ormsby in the lead.
Oosthuizen was three shots back after rounds of 69 and 71, but the World Number Seven picked up three birdies in his first five holes.
At seven under par he joined a seven-way tie for the lead, with a total of 34 players within four shots of the lead.
Aphibarnrat, winner of the Maybank Malaysian Open last month, had briefly led on his own after recovering from a poor drive on the par five first to make a birdie, only to bogey the second after another wayward tee-shot.
Ormsby, who finally won his first professional event on the Asian Tour in India earlier this month, had opened with three straight pars, while Vongvanij had dropped back to six under after a bogey on the second.
Korea's Joo Heung-chol was giving the home fans something to cheer about, recovering from a bogey on the first with four birdies in a row from the third to join the leaders on seven under.
The log-jam at the top of the leaderboard briefly saw a ten-way tie on seven under before Australian Marcus Fraser edged clear with his fourth birdie of the day on the seventh.
Fraser, winner of the tournament in 2010, then saved par from a greenside bunker on the eighth and was joined on eight under by Scot Stephen Gallacher, who had birdied the first and sixth.
Oosthuizen was now two off the lead after a bogey on the seventh dropped him back to six under.
Fraser dropped his first shot of the day after missing the green with his approach to the ninth and then failing to reach the putting surface with his chip.
And Gallacher did exactly the same a few minutes later, a bogey there following a double bogey on the eighth after a clumsy chip ran 30 yards away from the hole down two slopes, leading to three putts.
That left Spain's José Manuel Lara in the lead on eight under, but he then missed from three feet for par on the ninth and when his compatriot Pablo Larrazábal birdied the 11th, there was a five-way tie for the lead once more.