Swindon AdvertiserDivine intervention (From Swindon Advertiser)

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Divine intervention

Swindon Advertiser: David Howell David Howell

DAVID Howell endured a frustrating day at the Singapore Open as lightning storms meant he failed to hit a single ball in his second round.

Play was suspended mid-way through the afternoon with close to half the field not even making it out onto the course, and an attempt to resume play at 5.30pm local time was foiled by another storm as play was abandoned.

Howell remains two under par after a good opening round at Sentosa Golf Club, and play was set to resume at 1.30am this morning British time.

Of those that did complete their round yesterday, former monk Chapchai Nirat performed best as he kept his composure to take a share of the lead with Simon Dyson.

The 29-year-old Thai birdied two of the last three holes of his first round for a 65, and it might have been even better had he eagled the par five last, but his two-putt birdie, followed by a level par front nine of his second round, were enough to keep him in a share of the lead.

One of Nirat’s three Asian Tour titles came with a record 32 under par total, but the World Number 631 admits struggles with a volatile temperament in the past has held him back – with regular visits to his local temple having helped him to adopt a calmer disposition.

He said: “I used to be very hot-tempered and got frustrated easily, especially at a young age. So my parents sent me to the monastery, and I became a monk for a while. My temper is better now, but I still try to go back to the monastery once in a while.”

Dyson was four under par through 13 holes of his second round, with Dane Thomas Björn joined by Italians Francesco Molinari and Matteo Manassero on five under par.

World number one and Race to Dubai leader Rory McIlroy advanced to one under par thanks to a birdie at the 480 yard third during a 15-minute resumption between storms in the afternoon, hitting a superb iron to three feet.

Despite the interruptions, tournament director Jose Maria Zamora is still confident the remaining 72 holes will all be completed.

“At present, our aim is still to complete 72 holes, weather permitting,” he said.

“We hope to finish the second round at approximately 3.15pm tomorrow, at which time there will be a re-draw for round three, which will not start before 4pm.

“The third and fourth rounds would then be played with the same draw, which would allow us to finish at approximately 5.15pm on Sunday, provided there are no further delays.

“However, if we do suffer more delays we would then decide, in consultation with the sponsor and promoter, whether to reduce the tournament to 54 holes or complete the fourth round on Monday.”

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