Rory hopes of Race win hampered by storm clouds

An ailing Rory McIlroy will be looking to the horizon and hoping continuing Singapore storms abate just long enough to leave the way clear for him to secure the Race to Dubai title.

Three separate storm delays over two days in the Barclays Singapore Open has not only clouded this year’s event but with the title sponsor ending it’s association tomorrow there’s also real uncertainty of any new dawn in the co-sanctioned event.

McIlroy is among half the field to have played just half of their second round with the other half of the 156-player event, including Pádraig Harrington and Peter Lawrie, yet to commence their second round.

The world No 1 restarted his delayed first round at 7.30am local time yesterday and after posting a one-under-par 70 he managed 11 holes of his second round before a second storm stoppage.

McIlroy returned to land a 6-iron to three feet for birdie at his 12th hole before then playing just three strokes down the 13th before a third stoppage at 3.30pm. Play was abandoned for the day at 5pm.

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Meanwhile, Chris Devlin (64) and Simon Thornton (66) led the Irish charge in the third round of European Tour second stage qualifying yesterday.

Ballymena-born Devlin carded seven birdies in a brilliant bogey-free round at Las Colinas in Alicante, which lifted him to joint sixth on the leaderboard, four shots behind Dutch leader Tim Sluiter.

While Devlin looks good for one of 19 qualifying places at his venue — the other three courses have 18 up for grabs — going into today’s final round, Thornton is also in a great position after climbing to the top of the standings at El Saler in Valencia on six under par.

Also well-placed in Valencia is Waterville’s David Higgins. He shot 69 yesterday and is in a tie for seventh, while Lurgan’s Gareth Shaw is still in with a chance on two over par following a third-round 70.

However, Ruaidhri McGee (74) could find it tough to qualify while Noel Fox (72) doesn’t have much hope on plus 10.

Back at Las Colinas, Brendan McCarroll (71) is just a stroke off the cut-off point on one-under-par, while Waterville native Mark Murphy (70) stayed in the hunt despite playing with damaged wrist ligaments. Barrie Trainor of Mayobridge (73) is out of contention.

Niall Kearney moved to joint-fifth at the Lumine club, while Jonathan Caldwell (70) and Mark Staunton (71) have work to do.

Rathmore amateur Alan Dunbar (73) is playing for pride, while at Murcia’s El Valle resort, Tim Rice (70) and Peter O’Keeffe (72) are going well ahead of Cian Curley.

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