independent

Saturday 19 April 2014

Singapore weather plays havoc with Rory McIlroy for second day

THE Barclays Singapore Open featuring world number one Rory McIlroy could be cut to 54 holes for the second year running after more thunderstorm delays at Sentosa today.

Half the field have not even started their second rounds after two days of the £3.7million event and more rain is forecast for the weekend.

Thai golfer Chapchai Nirat and England's Simon Dyson top the leaderboard overnight, although there will be an instant change to that when play resumes as Dyson failed to par the 474-yard fifth - his 14th - just before the siren sounded and was left with a short putt for bogey.

That would drop him to five under par, one behind Nirat and alongside Dane Thomas Bjorn and Italians Francesco Molinari and Matteo Manassero. Bjorn is among those who have played only 18 holes so far.

McIlroy is down in joint 29th place on one under, but that was a distinct improvement on how he stood earlier in the day.

After first of all completing an opening 70, the 23-year-old Irishman dropped three early strokes when he went out again soon afterwards.

At two over McIlroy was outside the predicted halfway cut mark at that point, but he then had three birdies in four holes around the turn.

The last two of those were the result of superb approaches to within three feet of the flag.

Phil Mickelson, three-time winner Adam Scott and Padraig Harrington did not make it onto the course like Bjorn, but at two over, level par and three over respectively they all have a lot of work to do on the resumption to climb into contention - especially if the tournament is shortened.

Dyson was a four-time winner in Asia earlier in his career, but has had a disappointing season. With a best finish of 10th at the Irish Open in July he has dropped from 28th in the world to 63rd.

A climb back into the top 50 by the end of the year, though, would secure him a third trip to the US Masters next April.

Nirat is ranked 631st, but was a winner on the European Tour in China five years ago.

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