Weather makes life difficult at Portmarnock


The elements continued to play their part as the conclusion of the Nissan Irish Open unfolds at Portmarnock this afternoon.

Overnight leaders, Thomas Bjorn, Michael Campbell and David Lynn all dropped shots in the early stages of their rounds to allow several players in the chasing pack back into the mix. High winds and scattered showers over the north Dublin links made scoring difficult for the late starters.

The leading trio started the day leading on 10 under but Bjorn and Campbell, playing in the final group, carded bogeys at the first and second respectively and have since been joined in the lead by Sweden's Robert Karlsson and Australian Peter Lonard after both players birdied the third. Lynn, meanwhile, bogeyed the fifth and the sixth to drop back to eight under.

Peter Lawrie, spearheading the home challenge, failed to take advantage as the Dubliner bogeyed the second to drop back to six under through six holes.

Kilkenny's Gary Murphy had appeared to be right back in the thick of things, picking up three birdies in his first seven holes. However, the 30-year-old gave the shots back with three bogeys in five holes from the ninth.

It had looked like Murphy would continue his recent good run of form following his fourth place finish in the Scottish Open and a strong showing in the Open at Royal St George's last week. Instead, he has dropped back to four under and with holes running out he has left too much ground to make up here at Portmarnock.

Earlier in the day Paul McGinley signed for a 71 to dip under par, one under, for the tournament. Damien McGrane (73) and Damian Mooney (74) played together and ended their weeks two and four over respectively. Darren Clarke was disappointing with today's 75, leaving the Dungannon golfer down the field, also on two over.