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Fog obscures Amateur schedule

By Jonathan Bradley

Players in the Amateur Championship at Royal Portrush and Portstewart endured a frustrating time yesterday as weather wreaked havoc on the tournament's schedule.

While conditions throughout Northern Ireland have had many thinking of sunbathing, the north coast was engulfed by fog – leaving some rounds uncompleted and the majority yet to even begin.

Four days of matchplay originally scheduled to start today – the third day of the tournament – will decide the champion but, with a field of 288 needing to be cut to 64 before that can begin, competitors are required to complete a round at each of the two courses for the strokeplay section.

Little golf was managed outside of the practice greens at Royal Portrush yesterday before play was eventually suspended around 5.45pm, while lengthy delays were experienced at Portstewart until they too were forced to abandon play at 6.25pm.

A similar problem befell the North of Ireland Championship, also held at Royal Portrush, last summer with the tournament eventually forced into an extra day and course officials speculated that such measures would be required once again.

Of Northern Ireland's seven entrants, only two were able to begin.

Ardglass' Cormac Sharvin shot par over the first three holes of Portstewart and a steady showing today could see him qualify for the matchplay.

Meanwhile, Gareth Lappin of Belvoir Park also posted par, in his case for the first 12 holes of the same course, but requires a low score over his final six as he remains five over.

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