Harding effective in tough Irish weather

On a weather-affected day in Friday, South Africa’s Justin Harding carded a one-under-par 69 in the second round of the European Tour’s Dubai Duty Free Irish Open at Galgorm Spa & Golf Resort at Ballymena in Northern Ireland.

There was a 90-minute delay to day two before play even began due to early morning frost, which meant there was a backlog on the schedule with the final threeball beginning their second round at 4.05pm, with 27 players set to finish off on Saturday morning. To add to the delayed start, swirling winds and intermittent rain made low scoring difficult as only 12 players reached the clubhouse having shot red numbers.

Harding, American John Catlin, Australian Scott Hend and Scot Ewen Ferguson were in the clubhouse at three-under, while Smith, Toby Tree and Maverick Antcliff were all at the same mark with their second rounds yet to be completed.

They all trailed Aaron Rai by one stroke after the Englishman signed for a level-par round of 70. The 25-year-old was the overnight co-leader alongside fellow Englishman Jordan Smith and South African Dean Burmester at five-under-par.

Burmester ground his way back up to four-under after bogeys at the sixth, 14th and 16th saw him fall to two-under. But the 31-year-old recorded his first birdie of the round at the penultimate hole before having a long eagle putt at the last for a tie for the lead, which he put into concessional range to sit one adrift.

With reporting from The European Tour

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