04 Dec 13
Gary Wardlow and David Hughes took a share of the spoils as play was cut short in the fifth round of the Connor Mallon Memorial Trophy.
As daylight faded the Dunluce Links course at Royal Portrush was reduced to 16 holes, with the 17th and 18th skipped out.
The move allowed all players to post a score at the close of play, but took the par down to 63 with Wardlow, above, and Hughes both carding four-under-59s to split the spoils.
Hughes began with birdie three as he rifled a two and an eight iron to 12 feet from the first flag and he was on the green at the long second with a three wood and a six iron to set up birdie four.
Another birdie flew in from 25 feet at the short sixth hole and, despite driving into jungle country, he turned in four-under-32 with another birdie at the long ninth.
His third birdie four arrived at 10 where he hit a two iron off the tee and a three wood off the fairway to the heart of the green.
He gave that shot back with a three-stab on the 11th but he made birdie two at Calamity Corner from 25 feet. Hughes will, however, regret missing the 16th green and failing to get up and down for par.
Wardlow began with a three-putt bogey but recovered with a chip and putt for birdie four at the second hole. He then pencilled in birdie threes at five and seven, driving the fifth green to 20 feet and holing from 20 feet at the seventh.
He clipped another shot off the long ninth where, ironically, he reached the green with a four iron off the tee and a driver off the fairway.
Out in three-under 33, Wardlow worked his way home with six pars and birdie three at the 12th hole, where he was just three feet from the flag with a drive and wedge.
The next round in the Grand Prix will be staged at Ardglass on Tuesday 17 December, while on Tuesday 10 December there will be an outing in the Ulster Alliance, at Castlerock.
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