Darren Clarke and Niall Turner will miss the cut but Irish champion Niall Kearney is teetering on the brink in the weather-delayed US$1.5 million Ho Tram Open in Vietnam.
The Royal Dublin player is one of 58 players who must return to The Bluffs Ho Tram Strip course to complete his second round early on Saturday morning, sitting right on the one-over par projected cut mark with eight holes to play.
Lin Wen-tang of Chinese Taipei fired a four-under-par 67 in gusty conditions to grab the second round clubhouse lead in the richest full-field Asian Tour event, two hours southeast of Ho Chi Minh City.
A six-time Asian Tour winner, Lin overcame a wind-swept day at The Bluffs Ho Tram Strip by shooting six birdies against two bogeys for a two-day aggregate of 10-under-par 132
American David Lipsky, the reigning Order of Merit champion, was two shots back in second place after negotiating 11 holes in two under before play was suspended at 5.35pm due to darkness.
Strong gusts in the afternoon, which reached up to 25mph and moved golf balls on the greens, forced officials to suspend play for two hours.
Fifty eight players will now return on Saturday at 6.30am to complete their remaining holes, including two-time Irish PGA champion Kearney, who opened with a one under 70.
Ranked 130th in the Order of Merit with prize money of $8,103 from seven starts, Kearney was disqualified on his last start in the Resorts World Manila Masters two weeks ago when he signed for a wrong score at the 10th hole in the final round.
While he shot 70, he signed for 69 and lost out on some vital prize money. But he has a chance to make amends this week after making a good mid-round comeback.
After starting with a birdie at the par-five 10th, he bogeyed the 12th and 15th, ran up a seven at the par-five 16th and bogeyed the 17th to slip to three over for the tournament.
But a birdie at the 18th, followed by another at the first, saw him climb inside the cut line before the hooter sounded.
Turner finish on seven over after following a disappointing 81 with a 68 but European Ryder Cup skipper Clarke was two shots futher back on nine over after rounds of 73 and 78.
World number 12 Sergio Garcia, who was two under through 12 holes, lies three shot behind Lin alongside Thai veteran star Thaworn Wiratchant.
“Who said there is no wind in the morning?” laughed the 42-year-old Lin, who hasn’t won in two years. “The wind was definitely blowing stronger than yesterday afternoon.
“For five holes, there was no wind. But it started to pick up after that. It was crazy windy but I birdied two holes (on six and eight) to close my round, so that was good. I had some putts which I struck well but the wind blew my ball off track.”
Lipsky brilliantly turned in 31 but despite starting for home with back to back bogeys, the American remained confident of staying in the hunt for a third Asian Tour victory.
“The wind was ridiculous. This is probably the strongest wind conditions that we play in all year on the Asian Tour,” said Lipsky. “I chipped in twice (for birdies on two and four) so my good start involved a little bit of luck. If you hit good shots, you get rewarded.”