European Tour

Aaron Rai shines, Dean Burmester lurks at Irish Open

play article
Subscribers can listen to this article
Aaron Rai
Aaron Rai
Getty Images

Englishman Aaron Rai carded a level-par 70 to take the clubhouse lead at the Irish Open, where play was suspended overnight due to darkness on day two at Galgorm Castle Golf Club.

There were still nine groups left to finish their second rounds before play was halted.

The 25-year-old, whose maiden victory came at the 2018 Hong Kong Open, birdied the last to position himself at five-under at the halfway mark.

"It was good. A bit of a mixed bag out there but I think it is to be expected, the course played so tough," said Rai, who is looking for his second European Tour victory.

Rai is one stroke clear of fellow countryman Robert Rock, South Africa's Dean Burmester and Swede Joakim Lagergren on four-under.

Burmester acknowledged that the conditions in Ballymena was tough but stated that he is pleased with his position heading into the weekend.

"It was a fight. I didn't putt nearly as well as I did yesterday, so I’'l be off to the putting green shortly. I'm happy with the way I finished," said the South African.

"Certainly with the wind today (the greens are tricky). A lot of the holes where you're uphill, downhill towards the hole and straight down wind. Speed was key.

"I'm pretty happy. I'm surprised to be where I am. I'm just happy to have another go, I've been top ten a few times going into the weekend so hopefully we'll play it a little better this weekend."

Ryder Cup captain Padraig Harrington signed for a disappointing five-over 75 and a six-over total which sits one stroke outside of the cut mark, while reigning Open Championship winner Shane Lowry's second round 72 and seven-over total meant he would not be at Galgorm for the weekend.

- Compiled by Sport24 staff

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Voting Booth
What is your favourite sport to watch on TV?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
42% - 8798 votes
11% - 2240 votes
19% - 4028 votes
2% - 515 votes
1% - 187 votes
2% - 488 votes
5% - 1026 votes
8% - 1772 votes
3% - 715 votes
Water sports
1% - 195 votes
American sports
1% - 260 votes
3% - 656 votes