McGinley rues late lapse

By Brian Keogh

Paul McGinley finished under a cloud after two late bogeys cost him a share of the lead in the storm hit Spanish Open.

The Dubliner, 40, finished the day just two strokes behind Tiger Woods' college pal Notah Begay on two under par after a battling 70.

But it could have been so much better for the struggling Ryder Cup star, who has not had a top 10 all year and is languishing outside the world's top 100.

Four under par with just three holes to play, McGinley ran up back to back bogeys at his 16th and 17th holes on a day when more than seven hours of play were lost due to rain delays.

Half the 156-strong field didn't even hit a shot after torrential downpours flooded fairways and bunkers at the new Centro de Golf Nacional track in the Spanish capital.

Darren Clarke was just one of 36 players who managed to finish.

But the Dungannon man struggled with a hamstring injury and dropped four shots coming home for a three over par 75.

Dubliner Peter Lawrie posted a 76 but it was even worse for Clarke's protege Rory McIlroy, who ran up a double bogey seven at his opening hole on his way to a sloppy 77.

Waterville's David Higgins finished the day just three off the lead after a one under par 71.

Damien McGrane posted a level par 72 and Gary Murphy was still on level par after 13 holes when play was finally suspended because of darkness.

Clubhouse leader Begay, 34, was not surprised by the weather after winning his card at last year's rain-hit Qualifying School in Spain.

Begay said: "When I played the US Tour it was rumoured the weather was bad in Europe and I can testify they were not exaggerating.

"Thankfully the food and the service was great because we did a lot of sitting around."