Ashley Chesters remained the man to catch when the fourth weather delay of the week brought the second round of the Andalucía Valderrama Masters hosted by the Sergio Garcia Foundation to a halt, but he had an experienced chasing pack breathing down his neck.
After four hours were lost to stormy conditions on Thursday, three-time European Tour winner Marc Warren returned to complete his opening round on Friday morning, signing for a 69 which included four birdies and two bogeys.
It was not long before the Scotsman was back out on course to begin his second round and he started brilliantly, reeling off birdies at the tenth, 16th and 17th to join Chesters on five under par before a bogey at the 18th dropped him into a tie for second alongside France’s Grégory Bourdy.
- Darren Fichardt remains SA’s best at -2 and is yet to tee off in round two
Warren, who is in need of a big week at Real Club Valderrama to retain his playing privileges, had a close-range par putt to come at the first when play was suspended due to thunder and lightning at 5.40pm local time.
Play was abandoned shortly after and is due to get back under way at 9.10am local time on Saturday, with half of the field – including leader Chesters – still yet to begin their second rounds.
Home favourite Gonzalo Fernández-Castaño is among the large group in a share of third on three under after seven holes of his second round but he has an eagle putt to come at the long 17th when play resumes on Saturday morning.
- Zander Lombard is +4 with 13 holes to play until the cut, he’s 131 in the Race to Dubai with only the top 116 securing playing rights
Fellow Spaniard Alvaro Quiros and Welshman Oliver Farr were also on three under in the early stages of their second rounds, alongside defending champion Sergio Garcia and Australian Jason Scrivener, who are due to start their second rounds on Saturday.
After closing his first round with a disappointing bogey at the 18th, Warren bounced back with a birdie at the tenth – the first hole of his second round – to get to three under.
And after saving par at the 12th, Warren narrowly missed birdie chances at the 13th and 14th before rolling in his 12-footer at the 16th to move to four under.
He then curled in his tricky left-to-right putt from the fringe of the 17th green to join Chesters at the summit before a bogey at the 18th saw him fall back to four under.
The 37-year-old had the chance to return to five under at the first but his 25-foot birdie effort had just missed the hole when the hooter sounded.
Warren came into the week sitting 144th in the Race to Dubai Rankings presented by Rolex, knowing a strong performance would be required in Spain to finish inside the top 116 and keep his European Tour card.
Credit: European Tour