Date: December 12, 2008
Author: Steve Orme at Royal Sydney

Play abandoned at Royal Sydney

Play has been officially suspended on day two of the Australian Open at Royal Sydney after heavy rain rendered the Rose Bay layout unplayable. Having endured constant rain and increasing winds, players in the afternoon groups were offered a reprieve just after 3pm when tournament organisers called a halt to proceedings before officially abandoning play for the day. Round-two is now scheduled to resume at 6.45am with round-three to commence at 11.45am with players to hit off in threesomes from both the 1st and 10th tees. Western Australian Stephen Dartnall holds a two-shot lead over joint overnight leader Mathew Goggin who struggled to a two-under round of 70. Playing in the first group of the day, Dartnall made the most of wet but calm conditions on his way to a four-under 68 to sit alone at the top at minus 11. Ewan Porter, who also held a share of the lead after round one, sits one behind Goggin in third spot after signing for a 71 which included bogeys on two of his final three holes. Rod Pampling is well placed at minus six after a solid second-round 71 alongside New South Welshman Matt Jones who scorched around the tricky layout in five-under par. Playing in the second group of the afternoon, Robert Allenby made light work of the trying conditions to move to five under overall and minus four on the day through nine holes before play was abandoned. Two-time champion Peter Lonard sits alongside Allenby after carding a two-under 70 while Cameron Percy, who equalled Jones&apos low round of the day signing for a 67, is also one of five players at minus five. New Zealand duo Mark Brown and David Smail are among a cluster of players at four under the card – both men were one over for the day when bad weather stopped play. Michael Sim also mastered the conditions landing an eagle and a birdie in his first eight holes and is one of seven players at minus three alongside lefty Richard Green, who is also minus three on the day through eight. Pre-tournament favourite Geoff Ogilvy had made an early move turning in 34 to sit at two-under overall along with American veteran Paul Goydos. South African Tim Clark appears likely to return for the weekend action after carding a one-over 73 to be in a tie for 36th at minus one for the tournament with boom amateur Danny Lee, who dropped three shots in his final seven holes, to drop down the leaderboard. Jarrod Lyle (71) and Marc Leishman (72) are among several players facing a nervous wait at one-over the card in a share of 54th. Former champion Stuart Appleby did his best to save his round with two birdies in his last three holes but is currently on the outside looking in at plus two for the tournament in a share of 71st. Defending champion Craig Parry (73), veteran Peter Senior (74) and Nathan Green (73) are a further stroke back while American drawcard John Daly is one under through nine at plus five for the tournament.