McGee looks safe but Roman holiday unlikely for Dunbar and Whitson

 Italy’s Matteo Delpodio. Picture: Alessandro Bellicini

Challenge Tour — Rosapenna's Ruaidhri McGee looks safe but Alan Dunbar and Reeve Whitson look likely to miss the cut in the weather-delayed EMC Challenge Open in Rome.

With half the field still out on the course as light faded, the second round will resume at 7.50am on Saturday with McGee tied 38th on four over after adding a one over 72 to the 74 he completed on Friday morning.

The Derry man —21st in the Race to Oman standings with the Top 15 winning cards at the end of the month— needs a decent weekend to remain in touch with the card chasers and at four over, he may be safe for two more rounds. Scores
It looks bleak for Dunbar, who didn’t make a birdie in a six over 77 that left him just outside the top-60 who make the cut on seven over par.

Whitson was leading overnight having played the back nine at Olgiata in one under par. But he came home in seven over 42 for an opening 77, then posted a 75 in the afternoon and looks certain to miss the cut on 10 over.

At the top of the leaderboard, Italy’s Matteo Delpodio refused to be blown off course as he opened up a commanding four shot lead at his home even.

The 30 year old was the only player to break 70 in the first round at Rome’s Olgiata Golf Club as waterlogged greens postponed its completion until day two.

And he followed up a 69 with an outstanding three under par round of 68, finishing birdie-birdie, to sit on five under par.

After the delayed first round was completed, Finland’s Antti Ahokas, Spaniard Borja Virto Astudillo and England’s William Harrold were the only players other than Delpodio under par as scoring proved difficult on a long and testing course.

The delays meant that the completion of round two was also postponed until the third morning, though of those already in the clubhouse there were notable rounds from Stuart Manley, whose 68 left him on one under par, and Ricardo Gouveia.

The Portuguese, who lost his number one spot in the Road to Oman Rankings after Sebastien Gros’ victory at the Kazakhstan Open, is also on one under par after a second round of 69.